Wednesday’s China Daily
It was hard to miss this week’s revelation that China has been this decade’s most read news story, thanks to statistics produced by the Global Language Monitor. Trumping the invasion of Iraq, the number two story, by 400%, and leaving other catastrophic events such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan and the global economic crisis in the top ten, China’s rise looms over the rest.
GLM tabbed citations of ‘China’s rise’ throughout the blogosphere, including social media, as well as the top 50,000 print and electronic media websites. How was this done?
[The] analysis used GLM’s proprietary “Predictive Quantities Indicator” algorithm, which tracks related words and phrases “in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity.
However, the findings didn’t sit too well with China herself. According to China Daily, Chinese experts believe is the latest attempt by the Western media to tout China for their own good:
Pang Zhongying, a professor of international studies at Beijing-based Renmin University of China, said the move was partly aimed at trumpeting the so-called China threat. “The list is the latest sign of the US media’s change from China bashing to China flattery,” he said.
But Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the GLM, saw China’s rise to the top of search engine lists as of little surprise:
The rise of China to new economic heights has changed – and continues to challenge – the current international order (…) It is with little surprise that its ongoing transformation has topped all other news stories in a decade bespotted by war, economic catastrophe, and natural disasters.
Speaking to the WSJ’s China Real Time Report, Paypack also denied there was a hidden anti-China agenda. Instead, he claimed largely favorable coverage was found the GLM’s readings.
So, what’s fuelling China’s rise to the top of the list? Fear? Awe? Fascination? A mix of all three? We think keeping up with how China’s rise will feature in the upcoming decade of news is sure to provide some interesting answers.