As CDT readers are well aware, Chinese propaganda authorities frequently issue directives of news and events that cannot be reported or highlighted by Internet sites and traditional media. (CDT compiles such orders in our Directives from the Ministry of Truth series.) In addition to such censorship orders, the State Council Information Office, which oversees Internet content, also issues instructions for positive reporting of certain events or topics. For example, as the Chinese New Year approaches, the SCIO has asked all websites to participate in the “First Annual National Exhibition of Heartwarming Blogs and Online Posts.” The report below was published in the People’s Daily:
People’s Network (Renmin Wang), Beijing, 1/28 (by: Yang Tiehu): With the spring festival approaching and the spirit of the season intensifying, the Internet has become filled with jubilance for the New Year.
Under the leadership of the State Council Information Office, and with the warm response of websites from all areas, the coming days will see the opening of the “First Annual National Exhibition of Heartwarming Blogs and Online Posts.” This activity will be a grand online holiday affair offered to people across the nation during celebrations for the Year of the Rabbit. It will use rich and colorful online cultural productions to create a strong festive atmosphere. It will reflect the happy welcome that the vast population of Internet users extends to the New Year, and the wonderful experience those users have celebrating this joyous holiday. It will also reflect the prosperity and peace of the nation and its people, and raise up delightful scenes of the nation’s jubilant celebration.
On January 28, responsible officials from the Internet Affairs Bureau of the State Council News and Information Office informed People’s Network reporters that the activity would be formally unveiled on February 2nd. All sorts of “tear-jerking,” “heartwarming,” and “hilarious” New Year’s messages, created by Internet users, will be widely displayed and disseminated. Each day, participating blog websites and forums will issue related headlines on their front pages. Until February 18th, they will recommend good messages for Internet users to read.
The websites will offer original, mostly recent creations, including written, photographic, video, and comic works. Their messages will emphasize respecting the elderly and cherishing the young; assisting those in difficulty; showing compassion; extending kindness; enthusiastically promoting the public welfare; taking pleasure in assisting others; improving customs and habits; and celebrating the holiday in a civilized fashion. They will be captured by recording vivid practices of our people that promote the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation and create the core value system of Socialism. The messages will spread to the people poignant examples of unselfish contributions to others, to society, and to the nation, showing how the public moves from solitary happiness to communal happiness, and from the inner family circle to a lively realm where all are contented. They will reflect our contemporary view of stable unity, social harmony, and universal renewal, and create a warm and jubilant holiday atmosphere.
On the basis of website promotion, the activity will unfold with various pieces including “Top Ten Heartwarming Blogs,” “Top Ten Heartwarming Posts,” excellent blogs, and excellent posts, chosen by online users and specialists.