Dig­i­tal me­dia key to pub­lic aware­ness

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Top News - By CUI JIA cui­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

China’s news re­lease sys­tem must bet­ter adapt to the de­vel­op­ment of new me­dia to fur­ther in­crease its ef­fi­ciency and im­pact in get­ting its mes­sage across to do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences on the key is­sues that con­cern them, spokesper­sons of dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment or­gans and Sta­te­owned en­ter­prises said on Sun­day.

“China and the world are cur­rently fac­ing ever-chang­ing, com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies are also de­vel­op­ing rapidly, so it is im­por­tant to keep up with the changes by us­ing new me­dia and choos­ing the com­mu­ni­ca­tion method pre­ferred by the pub­lic to help them bet­ter un­der­stand China,” said Xu Lin, deputy head of the Pub­lic­ity De­part­ment of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and min­is­ter of the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice.

Xu was speak­ing at the China Spokesper­sons Fo­rum, jointly held by the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice and Pek­ing Univer­sity’s Na­tional In­sti­tute of Strate­gic De­vel­op­ment in Bei­jing.

The de­vel­op­ment of China’s news re­lease sys­tem is closely linked with the coun­try’s open­ing-up process. The sys­tem has now been in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized. Fur­ther­more, timely re­lease of in­for­ma­tion, es­pe­cially in the event of emer­gen­cies, has be­come a gen­eral con­sen­sus, Xu added.

To bet­ter reach the pub­lic, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs’ spokesper­son of­fice opened an ac­count on the pop­u­lar Chi­nese so­cial me­dia app WeChat in Jan­uary, said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the min­istry.

The min­istry has con­sis­tently sought to im­prove the qual­ity of the in­for­ma­tion re­leased at its news con­fer­ences since the first one was held in 1983. Nowa­days, it or­ga­nizes more than 200 news con­fer­ences and is­sues 3,000 state­ments in dif­fer­ent lan­guages an­nu­ally, Geng said.

“Qual­ity of in­for­ma­tion is the life­line of news re­leases. We have been try­ing to com­bine what we want to say and what con­cerns the me­dia, in ad­di­tion to mak­ing diplo­matic ex­pres­sion more down to earth for the au­di­ences from home and abroad,” Geng said.

The Min­istry of De­fense clearly un­der­stands that us­ing new me­dia in let­ting the pub­lic hear the voice of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army is a must, and it is de­ter­mined to use it more ef­fi­ciently in the fu­ture, said Wu Qian, a spokesman for the min­istry.

The De­fense Min­istry opened ac­counts on WeChat and China’s Twit­ter-equiv­a­lent Sina Weibo in 2015. The min­istry also posts car­toons and videos on the ac­counts to at­tract the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion to PLA, Wu said.

Chi­nese State-owned en­ter­prises have be­gun to at­tach greater im­por­tance to es­tab­lish­ing a news re­lease sys­tem for their branches abroad as they ex­pand their over­seas busi­nesses, said Lyu Dapeng, a spokesman for China Pe­tro­leum & Chem­i­cal Corp or Sinopec. The com­pany now has a team of 50 spokesper­sons for over­seas mar­kets and has launched Face­book and Twit­ter ac­counts.

Re­gard­less of which me­dia plat­forms or forms gov­ern­ment or­gans choose to re­lease news, the bot­tom line is that they should never try to cover up the facts or turn a blind eye to the pub­lic’s de­mand for truth, said Cheng Manli, direc­tor of Pek­ing Univer­sity’s Na­tional In­sti­tute of Strate­gic Com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

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