China’s propaganda department has been judged and found wanting.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) recently released a statement regarding the results of a two-month review of the department that is tasked with shaping public opinion in China. Their verdict? Our propaganda sucks.
In the statement, investigation spokesperson Wang Huaichen took the department to task in a number of areas, starting right at the top, saying that propaganda leaders did not feel a sufficient sense of responsibility for undertaking ideological work, according to SCMP.
Perhaps this explains why, in the CCDI’s opinion, art and literature were not being effectively guided to serve socialism, news propaganda was neither targeted, attractive or effective and political thought was not being emphasized at universities. “The department lacks depth in its research into developing contemporary China’s Marxism,” Wang charged.
The investigation was launched in February, which also happens to be when Chinese President Xi Jinping made a series of high-profile visits to state media headquarters in Beijing, where he declared that all media must be “surnamed Party” so they can give “correct guidance of public opinion,” by “singing the main theme, transmitting positive energy.”
According to the CCDI, that just hasn’t been happening. Apparently, they haven’t even been impressed with all the “positive energy” contained in a series of bizarre, psychedelic propaganda music videos that China has been rolling out lately, on topics like the shisanwu, XJP and Karl Marx.
Don’t worry propaganda department, it’s a tough gig, we think you’re doing just fine. Especially abroad.