This week, Xinhua News continued its coverage on only positive Chinese news, balanced out with both positive and negative global news. JASWDC focused on promoting their new Facebook page to their followers on Twitter. Most of their tweets started off with a caption that stopped mid-sentence and ended with a link to the exact same post on Facebook. So this week, I analyzed JASWDC’s Facebook page instead of their Twitter. It has been a great week for the Korean Embassy because they have finally posted some original content- meaning the posts were not shared!
Xinhua News had the best social media performance for this week. They posted a tweet that pulled heartstrings this week, one about improvements to Chinese education for disabled people. The tweet reads, “China to allocate more educational resources to disabled students,” included with a link to the full article on their website and an image of a Chinese boy and assumedly his teacher. The purpose of this tweet is to mainly inform their Twitter followers about a new, progressive government regulation that has recently passed in China; but another purpose is to enhance China’s image as a progressive country that encompasses all citizens, including those disabled. The intended audience seems to be more general than usual, most likely any foreign followers who the Chinese government would want to promote its country to. However, Chinese viewers are also targeted in this post because this news brings pride to their country. There is also no specific age range: younger viewers, who are also most likely students, can relate to this post because fellow students are being given better educational opportunities, and older viewers can appreciate the fact that a country’s government is improving its education to better accommodate disabled children. Furthermore, the fact that children, students, will be benefited from this regulation makes this post appealing to the general public because helping children is a widely-accepted social norm. The fact that the tweet says that China will be the one that allocates more resources for disabled students, not the Chinese government or a specific Chinese politician, insinuates that Xinhua News wants this good news to be associated with the country China as a whole. Since Xinhua News is controlled by the Chinese government, it makes sense that they would want to promote China’s image to both the Chinese and international audiences. Additionally, the tweet explicitly states that disabled students will benefit; this word choice emphasizes that China is an empathetic country because they are helping not only helping children, but disabled children. The picture that is included with the tweet also emphasizes the same message; a Chinese boy, presumably with some sort of disability, seems to be learning from his teacher, who is smiling and looks nice. The image is a real-life depiction of what the tweet and article is describing, which strengthens the overall message of this post. Additionally, seeing an actual disabled child receiving education makes the viewer feel positive and relate to this news.
The strongest rhetorical appeal for this post was pathos, especially feelings of sympathy for the disabled students and pride towards China for taking a progressive action. Emphasizing the fact that the group benefiting from this legislation is disabled and children adds more sympathy and feelings of goodwill for the viewer. These feelings will naturally be associated with China because the tweet emphasizes the fact that China is the country that is helping these students, and consequently make China seem like a great and nice country- exactly what Xinhua News is trying to do. The logos appeal is in the article itself, where they include actual facts about this event such as the details of the legislation, when it was signed, who signed it, and so on. This aspect also highlights the extrinsic ethos because the article states that the Premier signed this law, making it legitimate. Intrinsic ethos comes from the professional tone, as well as the sophisticated vocabulary of the article.
JASWDC had a post about a volunteer opportunity for the Cherry Blossom Festival, which read: “Next weekend, help us as JASWDC gets the Tidal Basin ready for the Cherry Blossom Festival! We’ll be meeting at 9am just south of the WWII Memorial and helping clean the area until noon.” The purpose of this post is to inform the viewer about a volunteer event hosted by JASWDC and to urge them to sign up for it. The intended audience is anyone who is a member of JASWDC. I originally thought that they were targeting the younger members who would be more willing to do physical labor, but the included image shows that there are older members as well. Thus, JASWDC is targeting all of their members, which makes sense because they want as many people to show up as possible. Another indicator that the targeted audience is not only young people is the fact that the Cherry Blossom Festival is mentioned, which is an event loved by both young and old. Additionally, the Festival is mentioned to grab the viewer’s attention, since it is such a well-known and popular event to most. By starting off the post with “help us as JASWDC gets the Tidal Basin ready for the Cherry Blossom Festival” attracts attention because they are urging the audience to be part of an important effort- to get the Tidal Basin ready for a grand event. The exclamation point incites excitement in the tone of the post, which makes the reader associate positivity and excitement with this event. The call to action is very clear in this post because of the strong encouraging tone, as well as the detail that is given right after the first sentence (“We’ll be meeting at 9am just south of the WWII Memorial and helping clean the area until noon”). Additionally, the post ends with the signup link as well as a link to their website that has “more information” about this event. By adding details about the event and direct links, the reader can easily know when and where this event will be taking place, which makes them more likely to join. The image that is included shows a big group of various people posing in front of the Tidal Basin; there are people both young and old, men and women, and of different races as well. This diversity suggests that any type of person is able to join, and conveys a welcoming message to the viewer. Furthermore, the group is fairly large, which insinuates to the audience that this event sees large participation. This fact makes the event more legitimate and interesting for the audience.
The rhetorical appeals highlighted in this post are all three. First, pathos appeal appears in their first line, where they incite excitement about the event with the mention of the Cherry Blossom Festival, and make potential volunteers feel important because they will be participating in an important event- prepping the Tidal Basin for the Festival. Pathos is also appealed through the picture because it brings feelings of welcome and teamwork. Extrinsic ethos is conveyed through the mention of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which adds credibility to this volunteer event. Logos is appealed when they state details about the event, like time and location, as well as include links for signup and to their website.
This week, the South Korean Embassy posted, once in Korean and once in English, about the East Sea. The controversy regarding the name of the East Sea (or the Sea of Japan) is still ongoing, and as Korea’s Embassy, naturally they believe that it should be called the East Sea. The two posts were the exact same content, just with different languages, which shows that the Embassy really wanted to get the message across. The post is a description about the video that was included, which is about the East Sea, as well as the link to the actual video. The video is from the Embassy’s YouTube channel, and there are two versions of this video: English and Korean. It outlines facts that support why the East Sea is historically the right name for that body of water. The post begins with a brief introduction of the video, discussing the main arguments of the video and why the video is being shared. The purpose of this post is to urge viewers to watch the video, which is made evident by how the post ends: “We invite you to watch and share this video on the East Sea, the oldest name for this sea.” This post has a really strong logos appeal- through sophisticated word choice, inclusion of many facts, and an overall serious tone- which also emphasizes the seriousness of the message that the Embassy is trying to convey. The intended audience seems to be those who are fairly educated with global politics, probably 20s and older, because the viewer needs some background knowledge on the South Korea-Japan territorial dispute in order to understand the context of this post. The Embassy seems to be persuading non-Koreans to take their side on this debate, while also emphasizing to Koreans that their side is right. The call to action on this post is strong, especially because they say “we invite you to watch and share this video,” giving the viewer specific actions to complete while making them feel good about doing them because they were invited by the Embassy. Furthermore, the link to the video grabs the viewer’s attention because it incites curiosity about what the video will be about, thus encouraging them to click the link and watch the video. This post is clear propaganda against Japan and its territorial claims.
The extrinsic ethos portrayed by the citation of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs brings strong credibility to not only the video, but to the overall East Sea argument. Intrinsic ethos comes from the serious tone and professional language, also strengthening the credibility of the facts that are introduced in the post and video. Pathos appeal is weak here because the Embassy does not include any aspects that appeal to a specific emotion. The video does incite some curiosity in the viewer, but that is the extent.