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Open up a 'green channel' for China's voice
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16:19, October 16, 2008

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In terms of hard techniques and facilities, the Chinese media are generally in step with the level of the most advanced countries in the world, but what is lagging behind is nothing but the conceptions and principles of China's information management, more over, the approaches and means applied to information transmission are both out of date, unbefitting for the needs of global dissemination of news and information.

The year 2008 is a year full of events, and the Chinese media stood up to the tests presented by the important events like the 29th Beijing Olympics and the calamities like the May 12 Sichuan massive earthquake, by promptly relaying the information to the outside world and successfully bridging the information gap between China and the rest of the world. China's national image has been since greatly improved amid the public in some leading Western countries. Despite this, we have to acknowledge the fact that china's voice is still faint and cannot reach so far as expected on the international platform of public opinions. To make China's voice accessible to the international community, the Chinese media will have to be equipped with a strong sense of innovation, and in the meantime, a global vision for information dissemination.

Only when armed with a broader horizon, can the Chinese media pluck up courage to appear on the international arena competing with others to lead the world opinion. However, it seems to be a popular belief among the Chinese public suggesting a country's image is categorically determined by the country's interior qualities, say, the development level of its productivity, and the general civilization of its public. Some tend to believe that by improving these so-called interior qualities, a country's image must be automatically upgraded, even without paying any attention to image-building or publicity efforts. This has been proved not only one-sided but more a misconception.

Some time ago, the biased reporting on China by some Western media ranging from the March 14 Tibetan unrest to the global tour of the Olympic torch relay triggered a general indignation within China and among the overseas Chinese. They strongly opposed to the despicable practice by these foreign media of disregarding the facts to mar China's international image. That being the case, we have learnt a good lesson from it. To remove others' prejudice against China, we will have to , in addition to self-improvement, play an active role in the international media war, which inevitably involves national interests, ideologies and other elements to touch off the fight.

With the rapid growth of China's economy, some conventions and standard practices in media coverage long formed in the days of planed market economy need to be broken through and even smashed. Innovation is regarded the lifeline for media development. Additionally, communicative skills applied to media coverage sorely need to be escalated. If we seek to voice our opinions on the international arena, we will have to voice in the way others can generally recognize and accept, otherwise, we could be marginalized and meet with deadlocks in communications with others.

After all, the foreign audience is entirely different from the audience back at home in terms of political views, legal thoughts, religion, cultures and conventions. Therefore, the way they are ready to accept as the effective information leak will be accordingly different. As media staff, we will have to follow the principles fit for international information dissemination and adjust the strategies and tactics in accordance with time and situation and always bear in mind-- who is the audience, and in so doing, our voice can reach those who take interest in us and also we feel intrigued with.

Last but not the least, an effective news transmission will be achieved by a highly efficient talent pool of media staff, which we have to admit far from saturated at this moment. This may partially help explain why China's voice has such little sway on the international community. As media personnel for international coverage, they need to be efficient enough to bridge the gaps of language and culture in order to effectively relay the information concerned to the audience in a different culture.

In a nutshell, misconceptions and out-of-date communicative skills are still acting as barriers in our media coverage for foreign services, and only by removing them, can a green channel be created for China's voice to reach the international community.

By People's Daily Online

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