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Who Is the Newest Star Shining on the Stage of International Communication in 2015? The Documentary!

Who Is the Newest Star Shining on the Stage of International Communication in 2015? The Documentary!

Source: China Documentary Research Center


2015 saw the documentary shine on the stage of cross-cultural communication. In the first half of 2015 alone, three major China-themed documentaries, including Super China, How China Works and A Biz Date with the World, drew great attention. The China Documentary Research Center (CDRC) of Communication University of China established the CDRC-Nielsen-CCData Documentary Industry Data Center and the CDRC-CMMR Documentary New Media Data Center in association with Nielsen-CCData and China Mainland Media Research Co., Ltd. (CMMR) respectively, who conducted data statistics and analysis of the three documentaries.


I Who is telling Chinese stories?

The producers of hot China-themed documentaries in the first half of 2015 took new forms: Super China was produced by KBS; Discovery Channel and China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC) co-produced How China Works; and CCTV presented A Biz Date with the World. In the past, the international communication of Chinese stories was polarized as Chinese producers focused on praising and foreigners criticizing. Now it has transformed into independent production of domestic or foreign agencies, or co-production between producers from China and other countries, telling the truth of China via different platforms.


Documentaries Shining Brilliantly on the Stage of International Communication

January 2015: SuperChina


April 2015: How China Works

May 2015: A Biz Date with the World


II What do Chinese stories tell about?

1. Super China—China's rise in the eyes of Koreans

As a special series of documentary presented by KBS and with a viewership of 10%, Super China looks into the change brought by China to the world from the Korean perspective. In China, according to statistics released by the CDRC-Nielsen-CCData Documentary Industry Data Center and the "CDRC-CMMR Documentary New Media Data Center", the Internet media attention of Super China is 2,343 entries, ranking among top documentaries broadcasted online.



Weekly Trend of Internet Media Attention Since the Premiere of Super China


Internet media attention (entries)

CDRC-Nielson-CCData
CDRC-CMMR

Data Source:

CDRC-Nielsen-CCData Documentary Industry Data Center

CDRC-CMMR Documentary New Media Data Center

Monitoring Time: December 29, 2014-May 24, 2015


2. How China Works—An innovative cooperation in the context of “going global”

As the premiered documentary of Hour China run by CICC and Discovery Channel, How China Works shows the rapid development of contemporary China and is hailed as "a documentary as popular as films and TV dramas". The documentary has been broadcasted on major video sites such as Ifeng, Tencent and Youku Tudou, with a total of over 7.12 million clicks. On the day of the premiere, its micro-blog was viewed 9.397 million times and 21,000 comments were posted.



Weekly Video Clicks Since the Premiere of How China Works

How China Works registered the most clicks and Ifeng contributed the highest percentage of 84%.

Video clicks (0,000)

CDRC-Nielson-CCData
CDRC-CMMR

Data Source: CDRC-Nielson-CCData Documentary Industry Data Center

CDRC-CMMR Documentary NewMediaDataCenter

Monitoring Time: December 29, 2014-May 24, 2015


3. A Biz Date with the World—A decent refutation to the tone of "intrusion"

A Biz Date with the World is a serial documentary elaborately produced by CCTV Documentary Channel for three years. Faced with foreign media's smearing, the documentary refutes foreign media's pan-political interpretation of Chinese businessmen in a decent and mild manner, stating that Chinese businessmen are not "predators" or "intruders", but are seeking the way to live with the world by "doing business". According to statistics, the documentary's Internet media attention and premiere viewership are 381 entries and 0.53 respectively.

Analysis of Premiere Viewership of A Biz Date with the World

Nationwide

Beijing

Hangzhou

Guangzhou


CDRC-Nielson-CCData
CDRC-CMMR

Data Source: CDRC-Nielson-CCData Documentary Industry Data Center

CDRC-CMMR Documentary NewMediaDataCenter

Monitoring Time: December 29, 2014-May 24, 2015


III How are Chinese stories told?

The connection betweenChina's development and the world is the hotspot.China's rise is attracting worldwide attention. Subjects concerning modernChinasuch as politics, economy, diplomacy, military affairs, technology, the people's livelihood and culture are all good carriers of Chinese stories. The content which highlights China's connection with the world and shows how China changes the world is becoming more appealing.


Transition from macroscopic narration of the country to microscopic civilian perspective is the trend. The documentary's presentation of the national image has evolved from macroscopic publicity of national strength to microscopic dissection of Chinese people's fight and pursuit in the tide of globalization. The trend of "trivialization" has also changed the perspective of interpretation—public peace and affluence leads to national prosperity.


Exploring new models of overseas cooperation is the "shortcut". Apart from improving domestic institutions' capacity for international communication, exploring the models of cooperation with foreign institutions and utilizing their mature production and broadcast platforms is more conducive to the international communication of Chinese stories.


New media's power of cross-cultural communication is worth of attention. The Internet links the world as a "global village". The ability of new media such as video sites and social sites in cross-cultural communication to trigger topics is worth of attention. In the era of "Internet plus", greater importance should be attached to the new media communication of China-themed documentaries.


Talking both achievements and problems shows a broad-minded great power. Foreign media value the balance of views and never avoid negative problems while displaying achievements. Therefore, it is inappropriate to show China's achievements one-sidedly but avoid problems. To spread the positive energy of the China Dream to the world, we must take the mindset of foreign audience into consideration. To display our confidence in rising, we must never avoid difficulties or social problems and should face up to realities.


In conclusion, Chinese documentaries have entered into a new period of international communication. This means that China in and out of the camera is no longer isolated and marginalized, but globalized. The documentary has become a superb way to tell Chinese stories. The mix of cross-cultural communication and political communication in documentaries will be a new topic, too.


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