This week, Xinhua News continued their coverage of both domestic (Chinese) and international news, maintaining a good balance between the two affairs. The Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC) worked on promoting the upcoming Sakura festival in DC, while the South Korean Embassy continued advertising for the 2018 Winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, Korea.
This week, Xinhua News tweeted on the Taiwanese independence controversy. They reported on what the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said about the matter. The purpose of this post is to inform the audience about China’s official stance on Taiwan’s recent military drills, as well as to express disapproval on Taiwan’s secessionist movement. The tweet is targeting the international audience that may not have a definite stance on this issue since Xinhua News is trying to convince them to take their, and China’s, side. The intended audience is also Chinese viewers who may be looking for an official statement from their country about the issue because news about the military drills may have worried them. The article is also a warning for people who support Taiwan’s independence, that they are supporting something that is wrong and disruptive of peace. Both the tweet and the article that is linked with it mention the use of force in resisting reunification; this word choice makes the pro-Taiwanese independence people look bad and violent because they are disrupting peace. Instead of phrasing this event as “fighting for Taiwanese independence,” for example, Xinhua states that they are forcefully resisting reunification of the “motherland.” This deliberate phrasing implies that the Taiwanese people is advocating for something unnecessary and wrong as they are going against their motherland, China. In the article, Xinhua News emphasizes how the Taiwanese movement is the “biggest threat to cross-Strait peace and stability,” which again indicates bias against Taiwan by painting them in a bad light. The image included in the tweet depicts the spokesperson who looks very serious and perhaps worried. He is also dressed in a decorated uniform. These aspects portray the man as an official, legitimate source of information because he looks like a powerful figure.
This post appeals to logos through the inclusion of facts in the article such as details regarding the press conference and the 1992 Consensus. Emphasis on the disruption of peace from the Taiwanese movement appeals to pathos because the importance of peace is a universal value, and its disruption incites fear, anxiety, and disapproval. Extrinsic ethos is present when the article references the spokesperson who is from the Ministry of National Defense of the Chinese government. The professional and serious tone of the article shows intrinsic ethos, but this is not a strong appeal in this post.
The best social media post of this week comes from JASWDC, which was about the upcoming Sakura festival, a Japanese street festival in DC. The post’s purpose is to inform about the festival and also to encourage the audience to attend and buy tickets. The target audience is anyone who follows the Facebook page and/or is a member of JASWDC. Additionally, the post is intended for those interested in Japanese culture and cuisine because it mentions food and merch as an incentive to attend this event. The post starts off with “If you haven’t been following Sakura Matsuri – Washington, DC for all of our 2017 festival reveals, updates, and details….YOU ARE MISSING OUT.” Here, we see a bandwagon tactic that makes the viewers think they are missing out on something important unless they, too, follow the page. The link embedded in the page’s name makes it easy for people to complete the call to action, which is to follow the festival’s page. Right after, the post reads, “Do that now!” which again highlights the call to action. Furthermore, the post urges the reader to “hurry,” which makes the audience feel a pressure on time to do something quickly. The post describes how the prices will go up soon (from $8 to $10), which persuades the audience to buy the tickets now or really soon. Here, the call to action is to buy the tickets, and JASWDC does a good job in making the viewer feel obligated to do so. They continue to convince the audience: “Better save those two bucks for all the yummy food and merch you’ll be buying, like this taiyaki…” Even though in reality the consumer would only be saving two dollars, the audience feels like they shouldn’t waste money by buying tickets later, and that they should just buy the tickets now and use it in a better way, like at the festival. This sentence does not only encourage the viewer to buy tickets, but also to spend at the festival (and therefore bring business to the vendors). The link that ends this post, “BUY TICKETS HERE,” is eye-catching because it’s in all caps, which is effective because the audience is more drawn to the link that fulfills the call to action- buying tickets to the Sakura festival. Additionally, the casual tone and language of this post conveys how the event will also be casual and fun. The picture from the post shows a Japanese pastry that someone has already taken a bite out of; this makes the reader curious about its taste, what it is (since it’s shaped like a fish), and overall incites interest. Also, the woman in the background is wearing a kimono, traditional Japanese clothing, which enhances the cultural aspect of this event and thus, makes the audience want to partake in its experience.
Logos appeal is seen in this post, where specific information such as prices and date are included. The bandwagon technique makes people feel left out unless they are going to the festival, which appeals to pathos. In addition, the image depicts food and bright colors from the kimono, which gives off pleasant sentiments and an overall happy vibe. The official page of the Sakura festival posts updates and details about the event, so referencing it appeals to extrinsic ethos because the information seems more credible.
The South Korean Embassy tried to advertise for the 2018 Winter Olympics a lot this week. One post that they shared was of 4 cute cartoon images of the official Olympics mascots. The purpose of this post is obviously to advertise for the Olympics, and the intended audience is anyone following the Facebook page and anyone who knows about the upcoming Olympics. Additionally, this post is targeting the younger facet of the audience since the post has cartoons. To describe the 4 images: one is depicting one of the mascots skiing, which obviously represents one of the Winter sports featured in this event; another is captioned, “Small steps every day!” and both mascots seem to be exercising/stretching, which encourages the viewer to also exercise/work out like the athletes. By promoting an activity that the viewer can do in order to relate to the athletes more, this advertisement is attempting to associate the Olympics with an everyday activity, which will, ideally, remind the audience whenever they exercise about the upcoming event. The incrementalism portrayed here can also refer to how the Olympics may seem far away but with small steps everyday, we will eventually arrive at actual event in 2018. Another picture says, “Have fun,” which emphasizes the fun aspects of the Olympics, and conveys the message that it will be a fun event for everyone watching. The last image is of the two mascots studying really hard, and is titled “yeoulgong” (in Korean), which is slang for “study hard.” This image is probably included so the younger viewers can relate to the mascots, since they, most likely students, also have to study. By encouraging the younger people, the advertisement is trying to engage with them. These cute cartoons characters characterize the Olympics as approachable and fun, especially to younger people. At the bottom of the post, it reads, “If you’re already a fan of the #PyeongChang2018 lovely mascots, all yours” in the captions, which signifies a bandwagon technique because it suggests to the reader that there are already followers/fans of this hashtag and the mascots. Also, this sentence encourages people to click on the link and explore the hashtag, and tries to engage with younger people with the hashtag since they are probably familiar with social media and its hashtag usage.
As for the rhetorical appeals, the strongest is pathos because the post utilizes fun, cute mascots to incite positive sentiments. People can relate to them since they are doing everyday activities such as exercising and studying. Extrinsic ethos is portrayed because the official 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics page created this post, so the fact that the official page is the source makes the mascots seem more official and credible; we are not seeing just any ordinary cartoon characters.