State media in China has a particularly vintage feel to it, as its machinery clicks and clanks into motion, churning out story after story in a rather old fashioned and wordy manner. Thus, it is refreshing to see these institutions making great efforts to not only support and promote their younger waves of employees, but to make an attempt at relating to a new batch of similarly-aged readers.
Nanjing’s local Yangtze Evening Post has delightfully done just that, through their own promotional video; “Hip Hop Don’t Stop; Yangtze Evening Post”. The video features three young men in their early 20’s rapping Chinese Hip Hop and the occasional English word, whilst wandering around the offices of the newspaper. The Nanjing TV tower is behind the young journalists come rappers when they are shot on the roof of the building, while other locations include a graffitied wall and at the reception.
The song/video is an obvious attempt at making something go viral; what with the awkwardly un-hiphop trained singing and dancing, its intentions are clearly comical. However, just 1 one day after being released on Weibo, a slew of harsh comments by peers revealed the reality of how hard it is for these institutions to connect with a younger audience.
Of the 400 or so comments, people complained of the use of “American culture” andof the “bad quality”, while some users simply wrote, “I don’t like this” and “This is bad”. But not all was lost with the fun-loving group of millennials over at the Yangse Post; the large majority of users loved the video, saying, “I love it! My Yangse Post”, “Not bad, well done” or “This is so funny!”
So while the song talks about downloading the Newspaper’s APP and liking the video, its main intention is perhaps to help transition the institution from old to new, and to gain trust among a generation of youths whom seem to trust less than the generations before them.