The Effectiveness of Xinhuanet: A Rhetorical Analysis
|School||Fujian Normal University|
|Course||Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics|
|Keywords||Xinhuanet rhetoric Wenchuan earthquake overseas report effectiveness journalistic discourses|
Xinhuanet has been pursuing the goal of presenting a true China to the world since its establishment. It has drawn great attention from scholars at home and abroad, whose research mainly focuses on the effectiveness of Xinhuanet from the perspective of journalism or international communication. This thesis presents an analysis of the effectiveness of Xinhuanet from the perspective of rhetoric. It shows that, in part, because of a lack in the sense of rhetoric and its application in journalistic discourse, Xinhuanet’s performance in the previous "rhetorical battle" with mainstream Western media has been far from satisfactory. Among the biased Western audiences it targets, Xinhuanet does not enjoy high credibility and is generally regarded as the official "mouthpiece" of the Chinese government rather than a genuine journalistic organization. However, Xinhuanet does not stop making serious efforts to change the situation. Its coverage of the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake is a telling evidence of the progress it has been making. By reporting on the event in real time, breaking the rule of "Do not wash the dirty linen in public", adapting to the extraordinary situation and it won accolades even from the prejudiced Western press. However, there is still a long way to go before Xinhuanet could achieve the kind of rhetorical sophistication it needs. To help it improve the effectiveness of its international communication, this paper offers some rhetorically based suggestions.