Xi urges media convergence

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/26 0:33:39

Traditional-new media integration needed: expert


Chinese President Xi Jinping (front row, 4th from left) and other members of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau visit the headquarters of People's Daily in Beijing on Friday. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau visited the headquarters of People's Daily in Beijing on Friday, and Xi said that boosting integrated media development and the construction of all media has become an "urgent topic."

Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, also stressed efforts to amplify the mainstream tone in public communication to consolidate the common theoretical foundation for all Party members and for people to unite, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi made the remarks at a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau at the new media building at the headquarters of the Party's flagship newspaper.

He visited multiple branches responsible for the new media under People's Daily, including the newspaper's digital communications company and "Central Kitchen," the media hub of People's Daily, and talked to members of studios that run political and business news on social media platforms like WeChat and Sina Weibo.

Xi encouraged all Party-owned media outlets to catch up with the new media era, and hasten media convergence through the bold use of new technology, new mechanism and new models to maximize and optimize the effectiveness of publicity.

Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Committee, told the Global Times on Friday that "the role of media is getting extremely important in China as we experience the sci-tech revolution and the rapid development of the country."

The sci-tech revolution is challenging all traditional media outlets, so if traditional media outlets cannot conduct successful reform and realize convergence with new media, they will be weeded out, said Su. "At the same time, China's rapid development also requires influential mainstream media to provide essential soft power to safeguard domestic public opinion and introduce China's achievements to the world."

Mainstream media outlets are highly crucial for the cohesion of public opinion, and the traditional ideas of journalism and management of media outlets are not enough for the governance and publicity mission in the new situation, said Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University in Shanghai.

"So the integration between traditional media and new media is becoming an urgent topic for the Party's governance in China," Song noted.

Xi also said that Party committees and governments at all levels in China should increase support to media integration in policymaking, funding and talent, and authorities responsible for publicity management at all levels should reform and innovate their administrative mechanisms.

The leading cadres at all levels should strengthen their ability to interact with the media, and continuously improve the ability to govern the country, Xi remarked.

Su said, "In order to improve soft power, efforts should not only made by the media but also by society and officials at all levels."

Many Chinese officials don't know how to interact with media to resolve sensitive issues, and this has caused fake news and rumors to be spread faster than reliable official information, and in some cases they even order the media not to report the issues, which helps fake news and rumors occupy public opinion territory very fast, Su noted. "That's why the officials' ability to interact with the media should be strengthened." 

By June 2018, the number of China's netizens reached 800 million, with 98.3 percent of them mobile users, according to a commentary released by people.cn on Friday.  

The last time Xi visited People's Daily was on February 19, 2016. Speaking at a symposium on February 19 after touring People's Daily, the Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television, Xi said that all news media run by the Party must work to speak for the Party's will and its propositions, and to protect the Party's authority and unity.

"If the CPC wants to maintain the long-term governance, it has to overcome the challenge from the internet," Xi said at the symposium.

Posted in: POLITICS

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