THE Communist Party’s publicists, though powerful and feared, are not known for their skill in winning audiences. Their output for cinema and television is often ridiculed (albeit discreetly) as wooden, out of touch and simply not believable. They have tried to up their game, rolling out cute animations and rap videos, but with limited success. Their attempts are like those of an unfashionable adult trying to look hip by wearing teenagers’ clothing: embarrassing and off-putting. Last year the party’s own disciplinary body accused official propagandists of failing to meet the demands of the digital era.
The private sector has had better luck. In recent years non-state firms have been churning out works that have the kind of impact the party craves. The goal of such businesses is to make money, not to create propaganda for its own sake. But to survive they need to stay in the party’s good books. So they have found ways of producing pro-party…Continue reading