China’s “Soft Power” Push Overplays the Technical Side
In the latest development, China Xinhua News Network Corp (CNC), the new television production service of Xinhua News Agency, was formally launched in Beijing on December 31. The following day, on January 1, CNC began broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific and in certain European markets.
But in an editorial in yesterday’s Chengdu Commercial Daily, Chen Jibing (陈季冰), a professional journalist and blogger, suggested that China was placing too great an emphasis on the technical aspects of its so-called “communication capacity.”
Chen argued that China would have to surge ahead in terms of the basic quality and credibility of its information as well — an area where he says Western media have traditionally excelled — if it wished to raise its international influence.
His editorial was highly critical of Chinese news stories and their typical emphasis on the actions of party leaders over the crucial basics of professional news reporting, the so-called “5 Ws.” Using analogies from business, Chen also suggested that aggressively pushing inferior media products could have the opposite effect, drawing “contempt and ridicule” rather than raising China’s soft power.