PD: You are just a mouthpieceWritten by Julen Madariaga on December 18th, 2008
I love the way Xinhua refers to the People’s Daily as a “mouthpiece newspaper”, or “the mouthpiece of the ruling party”. For example, in this otherwise boring article that I just read. Recommended if you need to doze off for a quick siesta.
I find all this mouthpiece thing funny in 3 different ways, which I list below:
- It looks like an effort by Xinhua to position itself as an independent source, copying a commonly used expression by the media worldwide, and differentiating itself from the “mouthpiece”. A new variation on the good cop and the bad cop.
- I always understood this word as having negative connotations, and I am surprised every time I see journalists using it in the neutral sense of spokesperson. In any case, speaking of a newspaper the phrase “mouthpiece of the ruling party” normally implies disapproval. I wonder if the editors at Xinhua are conscious of this. Xinhua, watch your steps, this is a 贬义词！(negative word).
- I am also wondering if the People’s Daily knows this and when will it start a feud with Xinhua accusing it of mouthpiece too. After all, a large part of the articles that People Daily publishes are taken directly from Xinhua, including some of those containing the M word!
On second thought, I guess “mouthpiece” is probably a great thing to be called when you are an editor at the People’s. It is extra points with your boss and it works to keep your iron bowl in good shape.