Promoting the English-language Global Times

Global Times English edition, April 20, 2009

The Global Times (环球时报), the People's Daily-affiliated tabloid that tends to get mentioned after the adjective "nationalistic," has launched an English-language edition. This momentous event made the cover of today's People's Daily.

There's a photo of a missile destroyer on the cover, but that's about as close as the Global Times (English) gets to the personality of its feisty older sibling. Compare the headline "Chinese call for stronger naval presence" with the Chinese edition's rather cockier "The world focuses on China's fleet review," over an identical photo.

Content-wise, the paper combines original feature reporting with news and opinion pieces translated from the Chinese-language press. According to today's lead editorial,

The English edition of the Global Times will carry on the traditions of the Chinese edition: presenting the news from a Chinese perspective in a fair, insightful, and courageous manner.

The Chinese edition of the Global Times has more than 500 overseas correspondents and contributing writers around the world, whose original reporting and firsthand experiences make for compelling journalism This powerful network will serve the English edition well. In addition, the English edition has a team of around 100 journalists based in China. It is a team of vigor, ambition and cooperation. It is a team with a dream.

In our journey to "Discover China, Discover the World," we strive to reveal a complete and true picture of China. We are dedicated to conveying the original voices of Chinese people. We are keen for your support, suggestions and constructive criticism as we continually improve the publication.

Global Times (Chinese) ad for the English edition

One aim of the newspaper goes unmentioned in the editorial. An ad for the English-language edition that ran in the Chinese-language Global Times today describes it in similar words, but adds an extra incentive for Chinese readers:

  • Carrying out Global Times' objective, incisive style of meeting sensitive issues head-on;
  • More Chinese news and broader coverage than the Chinese edition;
  • The world can see a dynamic China and hear genuine, candid voices from the Chinese people;
  • Every issue of the English edition will have one or two articles directly translated from that day's Chinese Global Times. Compare Chinese and English to help improve your English skills.

There's a similar full-page ad in The Beijing News. Today's bilingual stories are "ROK Web portals liable for defamatory posts" and "Chinese craze for English tattoos." A box on the front page helpfully instructs readers to consult pages 5 and 6 of the Chinese Global Times for the originals.

The launch was fairly low-key in downtown Beijing: we were unable to find the paper at any of the newsstands in the Jinbaojie area, and even the post office across from the Beijing Train Station was unaware that a new English newspaper was coming out today. Reportedly, newsstands in the university district were better supplied.

The sense that the newspaper is aiming for an audience of English-language learners is boosted by the Chinese-language ad for 快克, a brand of cold medicine, on the front page of the English edition.

And here's a curiosity: Global Times (English) is published under license number CN11-0272. That same number was used in recruitment and promotional posts last August by a company called Huashihua News (华视华报) in what looks to be some sort of advertising scam.

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There are currently 10 Comments for Promoting the English-language Global Times.

Comments on Promoting the English-language Global Times

I looked at the website a bit yesterday. Hmm, I wonder why they don't allow comments on stories like they do on the Chinese edition? Are they afraid that bringing the types of people who comment at the Chinese edition into contact with foreign readers will be counterproductive to their PR effort?

Global Times is one crazy crazy crazy newspaper. I'm actually addicted to it! Every article is framed in some simplistic nationalistic way (jingoistic is probably a better word) and backed up with a slew of 'wangyou' that comment on how awesome China is how everyone else needs to die.

It would be would be funny if it wasn't actually taken as a serious newspaper. We have it delivered to our office every morning and it's sometimes handed out on Air China flights.

The analogy isn't that good, but I would say that the Global Times is the "Fox News" of China.

"missle destroyer"

Suggest correct that to "missile destroyer"

Global Times did see a bit of exposure over on Twitter, albeit marginally negative - no rss feeds, no commenting (as above).

Looks like yet another site to compete with the Shanghai Daily, China Daily, Xinhua triumvirate of classic Chinese "crop production up 4% this year (every year)" news.

[Typo fixed. Thanks. --JM]

Maybe I can start translating Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage transcripts into Chinese, complete with vocab lists and usage guides, to sell to American students of Chinese! conspiracy. Feedback function on the website is coming. GT-English lacks the staff to do it at the moment.

Looked the paper over a bit. It might not be so stridently crazy, but it's just as low quality. Once again, they're citing the polls conducted on their own website like they mean ANYTHING* (the real rule of them is that if you can't even get at least 65-70% of GT readers to agree on the spoon-fed "GO CHINA" answer, then it probably isn't a particularly popular view at all), quoting random "netizens," etc. It really doesn't seem to be any big improvement over China Daily, and we all know how foreigners loooooove China Daily.

*The best headline that Huanqiu ever had on their website was one trumpeting the fact that 70% of respondents to their poll said the Lunar New Year would become a globally-observed holiday. I guess that's what happens when your staff is all on vacation.

Anyone notice the ripoff on the China Daily motto "Connecting China, Connecting the World"?

There were many college age students in front of the main gate of my university in Haidian today distributing the newspaper to passers-by. It is more BS propaganda , no different than China Daily.I read it for 1 minute and then promptly returned it to the distributor.

There were a few girls with 'Global Times' red sashes passing out copies near the Wudaokou subway station as well.

GT is the Washington Times with Chinese character.

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