Subtitle: I’m so sorry, Professor M!
This week, Xinhua News covered both domestic and international news, but included many international events that either supported the Chinese government’s foreign policies, such as regarding the THAAD deployment, or reinforced China’s positive global image. As usual, JASWDC had both cultural posts and posts that promoted their upcoming events. The Korean Embassy continued sharing posts about the Winter Olympics, but also attempted to include more cultural posts, such as about an upcoming Korean movie screening.
This week, Xinhua News tweeted about the THAAD deployment in South Korea, describing how there was protest in Korea this week against the deployment. The purpose of this post is to inform the audience that there are some South Koreans who are against the THAAD deployment and to paint the deployment in a bad light. The post also seems to be rallying support for the anti-THAAD movement. Considering the fact that China has in the past been a strong, vocal figure against this deployment, it makes sense that Xinhua News wants to paint the deployment negatively. Additionally, since the announcement that some missile will be deployed to Korea by the US, China has denounced the deployment and has encouraged boycotting Korean products/exports, even discouraging tourists to go to Korea. Clearly, China does not like the THAAD, and thus Xinhua wants to convince its readers to join their side. The intended audience of this tweet and article is the general public who may not have a definitive stance on this issue, especially those who are not knowledgeable on THAAD, so that Xinhua can persuade them to take a certain side. This post is also targeting Xinhua’s Korean followers, to show that their fellow Koreans are against THAAD and imply that they should follow those people and not support the deployment. The word choice of the tweet emphasizes the message that THAAD is bad. The tweet reads that “S.Korean residents and civic group activists” are protesting the deployment, which implies that generally good, innocent people are against this issue. It is not the radical, extreme citizens who are protesting THAAD, but civilians and people who advocate to benefit society. This wording emphasizes the negativity of THAAD and convinces people to join the sides of the civilians and activists. In addition, the caption mentions how THAAD is “unconstitutional” according to the protestors; generally, people associate something that is unconstitutional to something negative- this is a social norm. Including this in the tweet leads the reader to associate the deployment with unconstitutionality and negativity, aspects that threaten peace and security. Naturally, the reader will be compelled to not support THAAD.
In the article, there is evident bias against THAAD. It describes various reasons for why THAAD deployment in South Korea is a bad idea. Besides disrupting peace, the deployment is also “detrimental to human body and environment”; the article goes into detail about how THAAD missiles emit super microwaves, which “boost[s] anxiety among residents.” Likewise, according to Xinhua the deployment brings other dangers to Korean society and its civilians, which makes a neutral reader to be convinced, after reading the article, that THAAD is very dangerous and a bad idea. Xinhua News definitely did a good job on this post in being persuasive and urging readers to take a certain stance. The image included with the tweet depicts many Korean people who seem to be protesting the deployment. There are many Korean flags to be seen. This image implies that there is a big number of Korean civilians that are against THAAD, emphasizing the great dissent for the issue. Although Xinhua may be exaggerating how many people are against the deployment, the image makes it seem as though these protestors are representing the majority; this illusion parallels the bandwagon technique, making readers think that everyone is against THAAD and thus, they should be as well.
There is a strong logos appeal in the article because it goes into extensive detail on the necessary background and history of this issue and also includes facts about the THAAD missiles. Pathos is appealed when the tweet describes how innocent civilians are endangered due to the missiles and that THAAD is unconstitutional; readers feel bad for the Korean people and feel compelled to support them by also protesting (not physically) against the deployment. Extrinsic ethos appeal is seen when the article quotes people like an attorney of an advocate group and the petitioners, which legitimizes the claims in the article. Intrinsic ethos is evident in the article, which utilizes a professional and serious tone on the subject.
JASWDC continued their recent trend of promoting events this week, and on April 3rd posted on Facebook about an upcoming event, the National Japan Bowl. The purpose of this post is evidently to encourage people to attend the Japan Bowl. The intended audience is those who are following the page and members of JASWDC. This post is also catering to those who are generally interested in the country of Japan, since this event will be about who knows more Japan facts. The beginning of the post already grabs attention because the reader is wondering who the “someone very special” is, leading them to continue reading. There are comedic elements that are also included in this post, which makes it interesting to read and memorable: “He (it? pika?) will be there on both days…” Furthermore, the mention of the event being “free and open to the public” gives the viewer an incentive to attend, in addition to meeting Pikachu, of course. The caption says that the special guest will be there on both days, and the dates are included. This lets readers know right away when the event will be held. When this kind of information is easily accessible by the viewer, it allows the reader to quickly know whether or not they are available. There is also a call to action, which is to email JASWDC about more details about this event, presumably things like location and time. However, this approach is slightly inconvenient, as the reader is on social media and must switch to email. Personally, the email requirement would have deterred me from attending the event because emailing is more time consuming than a filling out a Google sign-up form, for example. This post would have been more effective if JASWDC had included such a link or a even a RSVP link to the event.
The image included is very cute, depicting a big Pikachu doll and few people wearing Pikachu hats and holding even more Pikachu dolls. They look happy, inciting overall positive sentiments in the reader. This photo suggests that the Japan Bowl will make people happy and enjoy themselves. Also, the image seems to be included, as a sense of clarity, in case some readers did not understand the “special guest” that is referenced in the post.
As for the rhetorical appeals in this post, logos is appealed because JASWDC includes information such as dates and their email address. Pikachu is a character that is well known by the general public, and so the familiarity and cuteness of Pikachu appeals to pathos. In addition, the photo shows happy people, inciting positive sentiments. JASWDC shared the picture from the actual Japan Bowl Facebook group, which appeals to extrinsic ethos because the information seems more legitimate. There is intrinsic ethos because the post includes specific facts (Japan Bowl’s 25th national competition) and dates that suggest JASWDC is a knowledgeable source.
The Korean Embassy shared a post this week about Korean beauty (K-beauty) products, an industry that is gradually gaining popularity in the US. The purpose of this post is to encourage people to read the article that is included, as well as to inform readers about K-beauty products that will be sold in the US starting this month. The post is targeting those who already know and like Korean beauty products, but also those who are interested in beauty products in general, as the post is trying to convince people to try out these new Korean products. Furthermore, the post is catering to those who shop at CVS because it emphasizes how 2,100 CVS stores will have these beauty products, implying that the CVS store near the reader will most likely sell them too. The post starts off with, “K-beauty continues to sweep across the United States!” which reflects the bandwagon technique because it is implying that Korean beauty products are gaining popularity in the US and becoming a trend. This implication gets readers curious about K-beauty and its products. The exclamation point incites excitement about the post and gets readers to continue reading, as they are now engaged. The caption describes how the CEO of a company, Alicia Yoon, will curate products for CVS; there is a personal sense that is added because the post implies that the CEO will personally curate the products, meaning that they must be good products of high quality. This fact also paints the company, Peace & Lily, in a positive light. The post states that ”K-beauty fanatics and newcomers can find the products at 2,100 CVS stores nationwide”; those who relate to those descriptions (K-beauty fanatics and newcomers) will be interested because they feel as though the post is specifically catering to them, and are convinced to check out the products. The fact that there are 2,100 CVS stores nationwide suggests that anyone can check out these products, which convinces readers from all over the nation.
The picture is of what looks like a hand cream designed as a whoopie pie, which is a novel, cute, and creative design that will make readers curious about that product, and perhaps others featured in the article that may potentially also have cute designs. The aesthetic of the picture appeals to pathos, as people generally appreciate beauty. The excitement of these products being available starting this month also incites “hype” in the audience and appeals to pathos. The facts about the company and CEO, and of when and where the products will be sold, as well the included link all appeals to logos because they are informative. The mention of Target and CVS brings credibility to the post because many people shop at these stores, and thus appeals to extrinsic ethos. Furthermore, the reference to the company Peach & Lily also brings credibility because it is not some random person who is curating these K-beauty products. While the content of this post is casual, the post maintains a professional tone, appealing to intrinsic ethos.