Media and Advertising

Images of socialist morality: patriotism

The Beijing News is running a series of public service advertisements in support of the Eight Honors and Disgraces campaign for socialist morality. The illustrations are simple and clean - the ad for "follow science," for example, is a black-and-white sketch of Albert Einstein formed out of his famous formula. Cliche, perhaps, but a bit more understated than photos of rockets blasting off or images of men and women in white coats working their microscopes.

The image here, of a man watering a tree, illustrates the "Love the country" line - the first depiction I've seen that doesn't involve flags, saluting schoolchildren, or major national landmarks. The smiley-face on the watering can is a nice touch, but you have to wonder if the artist isn't making a veiled statement about territorial integrity by depicting the southern islands as falling leaves.

At any rate, it's certainly more subtle than this cartoon from Guangming Daily, which also compares the nation to a tree.

On the left, a despicable character holding a begging bowl trades "secrets" to a familiar tall man in tails and pinstripes. On the right, another familiar figure in glasses with his hands on a document labeled "independence" cuts away at a tree root with the saw of "separatism."

Occasionally the barbs turn inward. Accompanying an article decrying patriotic graffiti on national monuments is this cartoon that mocks the "national shame" sort of patriotism . The photographer says to his subject, "Look a little more indignant, a little more determined."
Links and Sources
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives