ESSAY: CHINA'S MACHIAVELLIAN MEDIA STRATEGY
Chinese state media accidentally spills the secret sauce that makes CCTV news so convincingly delicious!
by Phil Cunningham
On September 20, 2023, Xinhua News published a jeremiad against the Western media.
(Xinhua) – “A slew of sensational yet biased Western media reports about China's economy have raised eyebrows recently, drawing attention to some of the old tricks employed by those media outlets to disgrace the Chinese economy…Double standards, selective blindness, false narratives, manipulation of statistics, to name just a few, are among the handy tricks some Western media employ.”
The Chinese media is increasingly sophisticated in its media terminology, spouting abstract academic terms that would not be out of place in journalism schools and media studies classrooms. Narratives, statistical trickery and frames of reference are given their due place.
But while the anti-Western diatribes are getting more nuanced and the barbs have gotten sharper, Chinese journalism itself is getting less nuanced and duller by the day.
As Xi consolidates power, there is little or no room for nuanced reporting, diverse views, counterpoint or even dialogue. The Chinese media, never a paragon for truth-telling, has become a mockery of itself. It’s one big monologue, reflecting the words, thoughts, images, directives, whims and commands of paramount leader Xi.
In the midst of Xi’s reactionary roll back of China’s hard-earned, limited and modest journalistic freedoms, nuance is gone, alternative views absent, impartiality is impossible and truth is out the door.
China can do no wrong, China’s rivals can do no right. It’s the editorial line!
It is in this draconian context that Xinhua decries what it sees as a vast Western conspiracy to portray itself positively while casting China in a negative light!