Peng Bo (彭波): “The Main Problems Relating to Internet News Propaganda”

pengboIn China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the Central Propaganda Department, which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (SCIO), which has established “Internet Affairs Bureau” to oversee all Websites that publish news, including the official sites of news organizations as well as independent sites that post news content.

Recently, the ninth session of the 2009 SCIO Internet News Work Training Session just finished in Beijing. All participants are top editors and managers of major news websites in China. The trainers include:

* Li Wufeng, Bureau Chief of the State Council Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau
* Peng Bo, Deputy Chief of the State Council Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau
* Professor Zhu Feng, Peking University School of International Relations
* Song Fufan, Director of the Ideology and Political Education Teaching and Research Section of the Marxist Theory Research Department at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China
* Zhai Huisheng, Party Secretary of the All China Federation of Working Journalists
* Professor Gao Gang, Secretary of the Party Committee of Renmin University School of Journalism and Communication
* Xia Chenghua, Deputy Chief of the Central Government Stability Preservation Leading Group Office
* Zhou Xisheng, Deputy Chief of Xinhua News Agency, Director-General of Xinhua News Agency

Soon after the training finished, one of the participants released her notes from this session online. CDT has translated the entire collection of notes from this 2009 SCIO Internet News Work training session; in total there are eight articles, which we will publish consecutively in coming days. CDT would like to thank the translator, who wishes to remain anonymous. The first translated installment of notes is here, and this is the second:

Peng Bo, Deputy Chief of the State Council Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau

1, Commercial websites must understand that it is the government that protects the development of domestic websites. If the Chinese internet didn’t have Sina, then Yahoo would have free rein; if there were no Baidu, then Google would have free rein; if there were no QQ, then MSN would have free rein. All of this is because the government is intentionally fostering domestic enterprises.

2, Key news websites and commercial websites should unify their thinking, they should learn to think politically.

Criticize Sina for not thinking politically; when reporting on Obama’s visit to China, they played without authorization a video of Obama speaking in Shanghai.

The most important part of Obama’s visit to China was his speech in Shanghai. The format of this speech was different than the speech format used by past U.S. presidents when visiting China. It was specially designed by the U.S. government to enlarge Obama’s personal influence.

Before Obama visited China, America and China negotiated that websites and television stations would broadcast the event. China accepted their request; however, live television coverage was to be limited to Shanghai area television stations.

These measures were implemented to accord with the Party’s Central Committee‘s desire that people become enthused about China-U.S. relations rather than be enthused about Obama.

Providing a video of Obama’s speech without authorization was done for Sina’s commercial interest and was not done for the nation’s interest. In order to gain a little, a lot was lost.

Criticize Netease for going after sensational stories and not doing a good job of directing public opinion. [Netease’s] international news headlines are always things like “New York Mayor Bloomberg Receives Annual Salary of $1”, “Black American Becomes Mayor”, “American Youth Becomes Mayor”. These headlines are sensationalist and cast aspersions [on the Chinese government]. [Netease] has set the wrong direction for public opinion and has not properly fulfilled its role as a guide [of public opinion].

3, Each web organization gets a perfect score for their reporting of the 60th Anniversary National Day celebrations. Liu Yunshan [head of the Central Propaganda Department] has given his comment as evaluation: “it cannot be done better.” This is a classic example of the Internet positively guiding public opinion. I praise everyone’s work and express thanks to each website.

4, As for my expectations and hopes for everyone: magnify positive news stories; to the extent possible don’t report negative news stories. The Internet media should not be influenced by the Western media which thinks bad news is good news.

4.[sic] I’d like to recommend a few books to everybody, and hope that all Internet news editors can take a look at them.

* Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies
* Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd
* Zhao Tingyang, Philosophy of the World Order

5, Conclusion: China’s Internet media is only ten years old. It is understandable that some mistakes will be made; however, I hope that everyone can soon become more seasoned in their work.

一、商业网站要明白是政府在保护国内网站的发展。中国的互联网没有新浪,就是雅虎的天下;没有百度,就是谷歌的天下;没有QQ,就是MSN的天下。而这都是政府在有意扶植民族企业。
  二、重点新闻网站和商业网站要统一思想,要学会讲政治。

 1、批评新浪不讲政治,在报道奥巴马访华的新闻时,擅自放奥巴马在上海演讲的视频。

  奥巴马访华最重要的部分就是上海演讲,这次的演讲形式不同于以往的美国总统访华的演讲,是美国政府刻意设计的,为了扩大奥巴马的个人影响。

  奥巴马访华之前,美方和中方交涉要求网站和电视进行转播,中方同意了他们的要求,但是电视直播只在上海地方电视台进行。

  这些措施是为了符合中央的要求,即要形成中美关系热,而不是奥巴马热。

  新浪擅自在提供奥巴马演讲视频,是为了自己的商业利益,不是为了国家利益,因小失大,得不偿失。

  2、批评网易热衷猎奇不做好的舆论引导。国际新闻头条总是放”纽约市长布隆伯格年薪1美元”、”美国黑人当市长”、”美国少年当市长”这样的大惊小怪而又有所影射的标题。舆论导向错误,没有起到正确的引导作用。

  三、国庆60周年的报道,各网都可以获得一百分。刘云山评价:达到了极致。这是互联网正面引导舆论的典型成绩。表扬大家的表现,并向各网站表示感谢。
  四、对大家的要求和希望:放大正面新闻,尽可能不报道负面新闻。互联网媒体不能受西方媒体的影响,以为坏消息就是好新闻。
  四、推荐给大家的几本书,希望所有的网络新闻编辑都看一下。
  1、亨廷顿《变化社会中的政治秩序》
  2、勒庞《乌合之众》
  3、赵汀阳《世界制度哲学导论》
  五、总结:中国网络媒体才10岁,犯错误也是可以理解的,但是希望大家早点成熟起来。

[To be continued]

December 17, 2009 8:54 AM
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