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China’s Changing Media Landscape

China boasts the largest media market in the world. It also has the world’s largest online population. The People’s Daily Online service is one such news service. Like most of
29 Dec 2015 10:04
China’s Changing  Media Landscape

China boasts the largest media market in the world. It also has the world’s largest online population.

The People’s Daily Online service is one such news service. Like most of the Chinese media outlets, People’s Daily Online/newspaper is owned by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Despite the ban on the use of Facebook and Twitter in China, the People’s Daily Online office in the United States looks after these platforms.

They have over 14 million likes on Facebook and 1.2million followers on Twitter.

Chengliang Wu, Editor of the People’s Daily Online English Version said their mission is to report a dynamic and diversified China to the world.

Visiting the People’s Daily Online office building in Beijing was part of the media visitation programme for 12 Pacific island journalists.

It houses over 1000 staff. Over 1000 more are located around China and the world.

Mr Wu admitted that they did not publish much about the Pacific, including the work carried out in the Pacific by the Chinese government and other companies.

“Chinese people are interested to know more about your countries, so we look forward to working with each of you in the future.”

 

Observation

During the week-long, Gou Likun, a reporter with the Xinhua News Agency accompanied and observed the 12 journalists for a report to be later published on their website.

“I think islanders are enthusiastic and quite friendly and laugh a lot, and sometimes I think you’re not suitable for serious discussion such as with government officials.

“I’ve also come to know more about the people who are from other Pacific island countries – I may know Fiji and PNG but not the other countries.

She said it was encouraging to know that journalists in the Pacific have a keen interest in China.

 

Chinese Media

In terms of the working environment for Chinese journalists, Ms Likun said there have been elements of propaganda in the media.

“I must admit that in previous years there has been such elements in media reporting, but things have been changing.

“We are working to be more effective and to report on things that affect people – common people.”

But some of Ms Likuns colleagues insist that most Chinese media still face state censorship. An editor who did not wish to be named said: “One of the challenges I face so far as an editor (my job now is largely editing the stories sent back from our correspondents dispatched around the world) is that when I’m occasionally assigned to write a commentary, the senior editor will tell me exactly what to write and what standpoint to choose. While this is not to say the instruction he/she gives me contradicts with my own opinion at all times, this process of “teaching” is itself frustrating and unprofessional.

“I would say the authority still holds that the media should spend the majority of their efforts on reporting the positive news, and that the negative ones should be complementary and, in my observation, limited.”

But there is optimism among those interviewed that as China continues to open up to the world, what is disseminated from news desks will become open as well.



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