| Global Times | 2013-2-26 23:53:01
By Global Times
According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Public Security, China's murder rate has been decreasing, with 0.8 people being murdered out 100,000, which is lower than the rates in Japan and Switzerland, two countries that are well known for having good public security.
Statistics also show that the detection rate of criminal cases in China has reached as high as 94.5 percent. However, this progress in public security received a lukewarm response from the public, which was more focused on famous Chinese singer Li Shuangjiang's son's alleged involvement in a gang rape.
All Chinese people benefit from achievements in public security, but it's hard for such achievements to attract attention and applause. The public takes these achievements for granted. Reporting and spreading good news concerning these achievements has been criticized as putting a gloss on unpleasant or difficult situations. Criticism is currently the overwhelming direction of public opinion.
China has seemingly entered into a "muckraking era." Plenty of bad news has been exposed, which affects people's views of society and also causes genuine good news be questioned or ignored.
It's a universal truth that bad news attracts more coverage. The West is accustomed to this and Western people have learned how to distinguish the real picture of society from that which is depicted in negative reports.
China is still in an early stage of having open media. The public lacks experience in identifying negative reports. In China, negative reports could be easily taken as a true picture of society. Most people believe the real society is the one seen in these reports.
In the past, Chinese media were compelled to promote good news, resulting in a kind of public resistance to positive news today. The public is more likely to believe bad news than good news. The manner in which China deals with this will have significant social and political ramifications.
It's impossible for China to prevent bad news spreading as it did in the past. But Chinese awareness of the real situation behind bad news should become more mature. Bad news gets a lot of media attention but shouldn't become the public's entire horizon. Media "muckraking campaigns" shouldn't clash with China's basic political situation.
The changing pace of news reporting in China hasn't been followed with corresponding adjustments to the public relations systems of officials, especially at the grassroots level. In the public opinion sphere, many simple facts are communicated with layers of emotion, making mainstream values difficult to form.
Making up for this weakness requires more effort than simply building sophisticated infrastructure.
Progress made in public safety is an important barometer of a country's progress. News like this shouldn't be intentionally ignored.
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