More help on way for foreign media

Updated: 2013-12-20 02:50

By An Baijie (China Daily)

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More help on way for foreign media

At a New Year media-relations reception in Beijing on Dec 19, Cai Mingzhao (second from right), minister of the State Council Information Office, speaks with Don Durfee (second from left), North Asia general manager of Reuters news agency, and Jason Subler, the China bureau chief for Reuters.[Zou Hong / China Daily]

More press releases and interviews will be organized by the central government next year to help the work of overseas media correspondents, a senior publicity official said on Thursday.

Cai Mingzhao, minister of the State Council Information Office, said it will publicize more information regarding key Party and central government issues, major work agendas and important conferences.

The office organized more than 50 news conferences and briefings this year, providing assistance to overseas correspondents working in China, he said.

Cai made the remarks at a New Year reception attended by government spokesmen, overseas media workers and domestic publicity officials.

The minister suggested that correspondents provide a first-hand account of Chinese people's lives and said they should report China more objectively, accurately and comprehensively.

He also recommended that the correspondents learn more about China's history, culture and national conditions so that they could better understand its past and future development.

"China's development cannot be separated from the world and vice versa. Helping the world to better understand contemporary China requires our joint efforts," he said.

Journalists from Hong Kong and Macao should pay more attention to the close links between the mainland's development and the prosperity in the two regions, while Taiwan journalists could travel more on the mainland and play a bigger role in promoting cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation, Cai said.

Leaflets with the telephone numbers for spokesmen from ministries, commissions and provinces were available for the correspondents at the reception.

Cai also said China's economy has rebounded since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November last year.

Vu Quang Duc, a correspondent from the Beijing bureau of the Vietnam News Agency, said the release of information by China has seen outstanding improvements in recent years.

Watanbe Yasuhito, a staff correspondent in the China bureau of Kyodo News, said that unlike in the past, when China had no military spokesmen, his questions to the Ministry of Defense could now be answered promptly by fax.

Yasuhito suggested that news releases by China's judicial authorities should be made more widely available to foreign media.

Liu Xiaoying, a professor in media research at Communication University of China, said the government has been improving transparency in recent years through different channels, including news conferences, official websites and micro blogs.

As of late June, more than 79,000 government agencies and officials had set up micro blog accounts, according to media reports.

The State Council Information Office should provide more training courses for spokesmen from government agencies and State-owned enterprises to meet public demand, said Liu, who used to be a trainer at the office.