Media convergence is essential part of reform

Updated: 2014-09-01 16:35

By Li Yang(

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China is carrying out reforms concerning the role of the country's news media amid the development of information technology, according to a report in the 21st Century Business Herald.

The report said that President Xi Jinping convened a high-level meeting on the subject last month, and he said China should have influential media.

His comments mark the first time - since China launched its policy of reform and opening up to the outside world in the late 1970s - that the state has sent out such a clear message concerning media reform.

The convergence of traditional and new media is apparent around the world, but this is not yet the case in China, according to the report.

An increasing number of Chinese people use the internet and various applications on a regular basis, and traditional media - which is mostly state-run - is not a part of the daily life of the country's residents.

The report said that "rigid management" of traditional media means that there is limited integration with new media.

The way information is generated, communicated and consumed is experiencing big changes due to the development of information technology, and people do not receive information "passively."

Traditional media has lost its voice to new media. But rumors and extremist opinions, which can affect social stability, also take advantage of new media to fill the vacuum left by traditional media, and this has become a big concern for the government, the report said.

In order for the two types of media to work together, traditional media in China should be more responsive to changes concerning technology, context, market and the requirements of the general public.

China's new generation of leaders have set a good example - replacing a lengthy, dogmatic and bureaucratic style for official speeches and writing with a more brief, informative and simple style.

Traditional media has to focus on its credibility, and respect difference voices and values. Objective and timely reporting of news events and in-depth investigation will also allow traditional media to embrace the new media era.

The report also said that media is no longer a "one-way messenger", but a platform to communicate information and, in order to survive and thrive, traditional media should adapt, develop new ways to interact with the public, and change its mindset.