Comparative Online News Journalism Analysis: China Daily Online News and CNBC

Comparative Online News Journalism Analysis

China Daily Online News and CNBC

Lishan Xie 520402786, 20 March 2023

Word Count: 1565


China Daily Online News:

Production Context

The China Daily online news website was launched in December 1995 and is one of China’s top eight national media websites (, n.d.). China Daily was initially run from a borrowed, dilapidated house in Beijing, but after 20 years, it has grown into a large enterprise with its own publishing house and hundreds of employees, and has become the official media of China (Cheng & Brown, 2009). It is owned by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party (Harting, 2017), which aims to make the world understand China, and China to understand the world (Cheng & Brown, 2009).

Target Users Group

There is less information on the China Daily website about its demographics. However, the official website claims that its readers come from worldwide. Domestic readers are mainly high-profile individuals, such as diplomats and government decision-makers. Overseas readers are mainly government officials, members of parliament, professors, researchers, and students at universities and research institutes. 5.2 million daily visits are made to China Daily’s website, of which more than 60% come from overseas. By 2023, China Daily claims a total circulation of 20 million, 1/3 of which is overseas (, n.d.). In reality, however, most of China Daily’s readers are Chinese, although this is not usually acknowledged (Cheng & Brown, 2009).

China Daily: Xi Calls for advancing high-quality growth

Writing and Content Production

The heading of this news story needs to contain more information. A good heading directly relates to the reader’s understanding, perception, and evaluation of the news story. However, this title only provides President Xi’s call for China’s development, which is the “What” and “Who” of the 5W1H, and the other four elements of “When,” “Where,” “Why,” and “How” are not mentioned. The information on the “What” is also inadequate, as there is no information on what specifically needs to be advanced for quality development. According to Bradshaw (2018), clear headings mean readers can skip 300 words to find their desired content. Therefore, the heading should provide reliable, adequate, and objective information.

The journalist reports the news in an unemotional and objective tone. In this story, the journalist lists the content of President Xi’s speech, using the phrases “President Xi…has underlined” (Xu, 2023, para.1), “The president …told,”(para.2) “the president reiterated…”(para.10) “he called for…”(para.13) “he highlighted… “(para.15). These indirect quotations intend to convey President Xi’s original words to the reader accurately. However, as the author uses indirect quotations and no video record of President Xi speaking, it is unclear how accurate and reliable the text is or whether the author’s subjective emotions are involved.

Three National People’s Congress photographs are embedded to visualise the news, allowing the reader can easily see the state of President Xi’s speech and the solemnity of the congress without leaving the news page. As Briggs (2019, p. 153) claims, “journalism without photographs is like writing without verbs.” Through these photographs, the journalist vividly recreates the scene of the conference, giving the text an artistic effect of visualisation. But more than three photos may be needed. If a video of the conference could be added, it would be more appealing to viewers in the digital age and would increase the effectiveness of the news.

Online Delivery

This news story allows readers to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Weblog, and WeChat.

These platforms are presented in the form of icons, which enhances the visual effect and makes it accessible for readers to forward to other platforms. Furthermore, readers can easily download the China Daily app as there is a download prompt located in the top left corner of the news, giving viewers the option of viewing the news on the web or the app. These online deliveries increase the viewer’s interaction with the news.

Technical Delivery

Firstly, each paragraph is concise, and each one is a different opinion of President Xi, which makes it easier for the reader to read.

Secondly, the text is clearly labelled and categorised, making it accessible to the reader.

In addition, the opening paragraph of the news item identifies the topic of the news item – President Xi delivers his vision for China’s future development at the 14th National People’s Congress – giving the reader a first impression of the text.

Furthermore, photographs of other news stories are provided at the bottom of the text, along with their headings, making it easy for the viewer to navigate to other news items.

However, apart from the three photographs, the news text does not contain any other embedded media or keywords linking to other news, and no subheadings are used to allow viewers to quickly get a sense of what is relevant and what is the main content of the text. Furthermore, the use of a uniformly sized grey font and the lack of bold emphasis on key points make the text less readable.



Production Context

Launched on 17 April 1989, CNBC is part of the Comcast Corporation, and its parent company is NBC Universal News Group. In 1989, NBC and Cablevision operated CNBC in a 50-50 joint venture (The Associated Press, 1990). As a public service, CNBC’s mission is to keep viewers up to date with the latest business and financial news wherever they are (, 2017).

Target Users Group

CNBC has two main types of customers: the viewership audience and the sponsorship audience. The viewership audience is subdivided into Casual Investor/ Viewer and Professional Investor/ Viewer. The Casual Investor/Viewer audience comprises the majority of the world’s 390 million viewers, who are primarily for entertainment purposes. Professional Investor/Audience rely heavily on the data provided by CNBC and incorporate it into their daily investment decisions. Furthermore, the Sponsorship Audience hopes to generate more revenue by placing advertisements on CNBC’s different digital channels to attract more of its ideal target audience to subscribe to CNBC news (Greene, 2011).

CNBC: How China’s shifting growth picture could hit global markets

Writing and content production

This heading contains the keywords of the news in the question, namely “China,” “shifting growth,” and “global markets, ” which gives the reader a first idea of what the news is reporting. These keywords also relate to the “What” and “Who” of the 5W1H, plus the title already contains the “How,” which is a form of a question. A question is an efficient way to pique the reader’s curiosity, as it can better stimulate the reader’s sense of questioning and the urge to learn more about the news. The heading contains more keywords than the China Daily story and appeals more to readers.

The key points below the heading allow the reader to understand the story’s main points at a glance and prepare to read more details later. Moreover, readers who do not intend to read the story can quickly exit after skimming through the clear key points. In contrast, China Daily’s news does not have key points, leaving the reader not knowing at a glance if they want to read the full text.

In addition to David Roche’s video, the text also includes a video of China’s new foreign minister, which supports David Roche’s view from a cross-cultural perspective. What is also covered in the text is an image of the opening ceremony of China’s National People’s Congress being broadcast from a shopping mall in Qingzhou, Shandong Province, China. This aligns with Bradshaw’s requirement for news scannability on webpages to “breaking up text with images…video, audio, maps and other embedded media” (Bradshaw, 2018, p.81). The use of embedded media in this story is more effective than in the China Daily story, as it grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them on the page longer.

Online Delivery

Like the China Daily story, the CNBC story can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as retweeted via email.

Readers can find the author’s Twitter page below the author’s name. It includes personal information about the author, such as occupation, birth information, interests, and a hyperlink to all the stories he has contributed to on CNBC. Viewers can click on the hyperlink to browse other content the author has posted on CNBC and learn about his political views.

When mentioning that “Chinese government announces a target of ‘around 5%’ growth in gross domestic product” and “Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said Sino-U.S. relations had left a ‘rational path'”, the story uses a link to the source, allowing readers to quickly open the corresponding story. Using such embedded links has the advantage that the links “allows users to interact by clicking through to related information” (Bradshaw, 2018, p. 82). However, China Daily’s news does not use embedded links, which reduces viewer interaction.

Technical Delivery

As with the China Daily’s news, the text is clearly labelled and navigable, and they both use short paragraphs to make it easy for viewers to read.

Unlike China Daily, the text uses highly readable key points and subheadings that help the reader grasp the text’s main idea quickly.

The bottom of the news contains more economic information, including news from CNBC and the internet, which provides more content than China Daily and gives viewers more options to see other news.

In addition, there is a live icon at the bottom of the news and in the sidebar for viewers to click on to view the CNBC TV Schedule, and live broadcasts of current programmes are available, increasing reader interaction with the site.


Bradshaw, P. (2018). Writing for the web. In The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age. (2nd ed., pp. 72–98). Routledge.

Briggs, M. (2019). Visual storytelling with photographs. In Briggs, Journalism Next: a practical guide to digital reporting and publishing (4th ed., pp. 153–184). CQ Press.

Cheng, L., & Brown, K. (2009). China Daily. In Berkshire Encyclopedia of China. M and Historic Views of the World’s Newest and Oldest Global Power (Vol. 1, pp. 323–324). Berkshire Pub. Group. (n.d.). About China Daily. About Us. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from (2017, April 28). About CNBC International. CNBC. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

Greene, I. (2011, September 13). The secret sauce behind does CNBC stay on top? Forbes. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

Hartig, F. (2017). China Daily – Beijing’s Global Voice? China’s Media Go Global, 122–140.

Smith, E. (2023, March 7). How China’s shifting growth picture could hit global markets. CNBC. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

The Associated Press. (1990, July 27). The Media Business; new CNBC president (published 1990). The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

Xu, W. (2023, March 6). XI calls for advancing high-quality growth. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from


About Lishan Xie 3 Articles
I am a student currently studying for a Masters in Digital Communication and Culture at the University of Sydney, if you have any questions please email me. My email address is:

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