In January 2003, Li Changchun (China’s top propagandist) announced top leadership would take a “Three Closenesses” approach to the control of mass media: “Closeness to reality, closeness to the masses and closeness to real life” (贴近实际，贴近群众， 贴近生活).
This was an elaboration of Jiang Zemin’s notion of “guidance of public opinion”, the idea being that people should be both guided and given media they found more attractive, interesting and relevant. In other words, to counter the popularity of pirated Western programs, create media the Chinese public would actually consume.[YunFei News]
What I find fascinating about the 3 closenesses (and really most Chinese propaganda) is how terribly obvious it seems. These are things I would expect to hear out coming out the mouth of an efficiency consultant or a marketing firm.
Trying to be both realistic and idealized in order to assert values and opinions on the unsuspecting public are standard practice of American media–techniques that the media outlets seem to have come to themselves. There is no table of superpowers; no secret meeting where the government meets with newscasters to plot the course of American society. But, there is a tacit understanding that the overall goals of increased consumption by a stable and sedentary populace are the same.
It almost feels like the Chinese are just more honest and open about their goals. Its like telling someone not to tell a dealer “I want to buy drugs” in the middle of a dinner party.
Look buddy, we all know what you are after but let’s just be a little more…polite. No need to broadcast your personal business all over the place.