Xinhua World Media Summit: Transparency and the Role of Media in China

is hosting a world media summit in Beijing. From their own report:

Xinhua and eight other renowned media organizations including News Corporation, AP, , ITAR-TASS, Kyodo News, BBC, Turner Broadcasting System and Google Inc. will jointly launch the World Media Summit on Oct 8-10.

“Xinhua and the eight co-chairs have established a secretariat and reached wide consensus on the scale of the summit, theme and topics, organization, agenda setting, expenses, drafting and endorsement of the Joint Statement and the long-term mechanism of the summit,” said Li.

By Wednesday, 135 media organizations from 70 countries and regions have confirmed attendance to the summit, including 43 from Europe and North America, 21 from Asia, 17 from the Middle East, 17 from Africa, 20 from Eastern Europe and the realm of the former Soviet Union, 8 from Latin America, and 9 from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, said Li in an media interview on Wednesday.

David Schlesinger, Editor-in-Chief of Reuters, addresses the summit on Thursday. The following is from the text of his remarks:

The integration of China into global financial markets presents numerous challenges for financial media, on which the financial markets depend. But it also presents some challenges for Chinese policy makers to create the optimal conditions in which financial media can operate to respond efficiently to the needs of both Chinese and non-Chinese markets professionals and investors.

Let me respectfully suggest a few areas where China could take steps to facilitate the quality of financial information and reinforce the contribution of financial media:

* Greater discipline around the public release of official statistics:

Economic statistics are, of course, of critical relevance to financial markets. Still too frequently in China, rumours about statistics circulate for several days before their official release. Often the rumours later turn out to have been correct. Those “insiders” with access to the rumours enjoy unfair trading advantages over those who do not.

The correct policy response is not to punish the media for reporting the rumours, but instead to ensure that the processes and safeguards around the release of statistics are tightened.

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