The 4th China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar opens in Beijing

14:31, March 24, 2010      

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Mr. Zhang Yannong, president of People's Daily addresses the opening ceremony of the 4th China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar in Beijing, Wednesday. The 4th China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar kicks off in Beijing on Wednesday morning. Hosted by People's Daily, the seminar will be held from March 23 to 25.

Following is the full text of Zhang Yannong's speeches.

Dear chief editor Boualaphanh Thanphilom, and dear Ms. Lee Joo Tiang,
Dear deputy director Qian Xiaoqian,
Dear ambassador Xue Hanqin,
Distinguished delegates and friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are gathered with friends from the media circles of 10 ASEAN country members to attend the 4th China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar. First of all, please allow me to extend the warm welcome on behalf of People's Daily, for the presence of the distinguished guests.

The year of 2010 is of significance in the development of China-ASEAN relations. The initiation of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area at the beginning of 2010 has not only given the economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN a new starting point, but it has also provided a brighter development prospect for cultural exchanges between the two sides, including the media.

"The Development of New Media" is both the theme of the summit, and a subject that is of universal concern to the global press circle. In the current era, the means and situation of news transmission as well as media ecology are undergoing profound transformations. With the rapid development of information technology represented by digitization and networking, emerging media such as the Internet and mobile phones is on the sudden rise, thanks to massive information transmission capacities, interaction, mobility, instantaneity among other advantages. In contrast, traditional media such as newspapers, radio and TV is now facing unprecedented challenges. The "disappearance of newspapers" view has emerged again amid the international financial crisis worldwide, and the "sad mood for the looming end of traditional media" is pervasive in the traditional media circle.

So how should we deal with the crisis? The Chinese equivalent of "crisis" is "Wei Ji," of which, "Wei" means "danger," and "Ji" means "opportunity." Our eastern civilization has already told us how to deal with difficulties and challenges—it all depends on human effort, and we should try our best to find and make use of the opportunities in crisis, in order to have a better development.

Although new media has changed the pattern of information dissemination and the situation of media industry, the content is king and is still the nature of information transmission. In fact, traditional media remains the "content providers" for many news websites, which is the advantage that we live by. New media should not be opponents of traditional media, but our partners to create a win-win situation. New media will bring new vigor and vitality into traditional media, and it will make us even more influential than ever before through multimedia and other new technologies.

All distinguished guests! People's Daily has been trying its best to keep pace with the times amid the crisis, in the hopes of improving its transmission ability and becoming a world-class media agency. I propose that traditional and new media should be combined together to build diverse and attractive dissemination patterns.

First, we must focus on the strengthening and expansion of our main business. In July 2009 and in January 2010, we expanded the content and pages of the People's Daily newspaper, increasing the number of pages to 24 from 16. The circulation of the newspaper has steadily increased to more than 2.4 million copies per month. The attractiveness and influence of the newspaper is also continuously increasing and we have established the People's Daily (Tibetan Edition), Global Times (English Edition) and China Energy News, bringing the current number of People's Daily's subsidiary newspapers to 26. These newspapers are also improving in quality and their circulation is expanding, and together with the People's Daily newspaper, they have greatly enriched the news transmitting channels of the People's Daily agency.

Second, we must follow the trend of the times and develop scientifically. In 2009, we carried out a large-scale and comprehensive organizational reform, and established a frame for the flow of human, financial and material resources to journalism, our main business. We established a news coordination department to comprehensively coordinate news planning, editing and transmitting, arranged all of the agency's media reports and news offices as a whole, and strengthen the connection between print media and network media. We also established a technical department which can provide support for the media to adapt to new technologies.

We hold that conceptual innovation, system innovation, mechanism innovation and technical innovation can supplement each other, serving as the key to the development of the media sector in modern times. For example, we are now taking the initiative in establishing a news gathering and editing system consisting of an information gathering subsystem, information editing subsystem and an information storage and development subsystem. After the completion of the system, information resources can be shared among the different divisions of People's Daily.

Third, we will promote the development of new media. We attach much importance to the construction of People's Daily's official website by injecting more investment. With 160 million daily page views, the website has won increasing influence and economic strength and has become more authoritative and creditable by integrating the same content written in different languages, graphs and texts, audio and video clips, mobile services, the BBS forum, blogs, audio blogs and micro-blogs. How can new and traditional media coexist and supplement each other? We will firstly promote interaction between the print and online editions of People's Daily, and then gradually realize their integration. For example, during last year's National Day, the website of People's Daily provided round-the-clock live broadcast of relevant information. More than 70 reporters from People's Daily, People's Daily (Overseas Edition), and the website provided first-hand information to Chinese netizens from the Tiananmen Rostrum, the Viewing Stand in Tiananmen Square and the Beijing Exhibition Center. At the same time, the website also contacted numerous reporters stationed in China and foreign countries, obtaining information about the celebrations Chinese people held at home and abroad. The website received increasing page views as relevant reports were very popular among Chinese netizens. Meanwhile, the editorial office and the website jointly created a photo center and launched many columns. Relevant information appeared in the print and online editions at the same time, giving full play to the role of a media institution.

We have learned that the media present from ASEAN countries all have many successful methods and valuable experience in the development of emerging media that we can learn from and make use of, and we are expecting to hear some brilliant speeches from ASEAN countries during the summit. People's Daily would like to continue to strengthen its exchange and cooperation with ASEAN countries in an effort to grant Asia a larger voice on the international platform.

All delegates, I want to thank the ASEAN Secretariat, the media from ASEAN countries and supervisory departments for their support for the China-ASEAN media summit. I also want to especially thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Council Information Office for their many years of support for People's Daily.

I wish the 4th China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar a successful conclusion!

Thank you all!

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