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The Development Plan of China’s International Broadcasting Station

A recent issue of Qiu Shi Magazine published an article by Wang
Gengnian, manager of China’s International Broadcasting Station and the
editor-in-chief of the publication. This article is helpful to
understand the foreign strategy of the Chinese official broadcasting
station. Below is the translation of the article [1].

A recent issue of Qiu Shi Magazine published an article by Wang Gengnian, manager of China’s International Broadcasting Station and the editor-in-chief of the publication. This article is helpful to understand the foreign strategy of the Chinese official broadcasting station. Below is the translation of the article [1].

Let China’s Voice and Information Spread Further and Broadly

Wang Gengnian

General Secretary Hu Jintao in the 2008 National Propaganda Ideological Work Conference emphasized to pay special attention to strengthen the foreign propaganda as the overall national development strategy mission, to form the strength of foreign dissemination to match the level of our country’s economic and social development and international standing, and to let China’s voice and information spread further. International broadcasting is an important field of public opinion and an important part of foreign dissemination. Strengthening the construction of the modern international broadcast system; powerfully strengthening foreign broadcast propaganda; enhancing the influence and competitive ability in foreign broadcasting; serving well the reform and open policy and modernization; and promoting bigger contribution to the motherland reunification, world peace, and the progress of humanity are the international broadcasting’s overall and strategic tasks.

Since the reform and open policy, our county’s economic and social development has obtained a magnificent achievement. However, compared with our country’s international standing and international influence enhancing day by day, the strength of our foreign dissemination is still insufficient. The pattern of world consensus of “the West is stronger and we are weaker” has not changed fundamentally. In the last 10 years, America and other Western countries using broadcast, satellite TV, Internet, and other emerging media have established a multi-dimensional surrounding net. In our country’s peripheral locality, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, British BBC, Voice of Germany, France International Broadcasting Station, and Japanese NHK have set up several dozens of relay stations and hundreds of frequency channels to broadcast to our country. Facing all sorts of challenges, the standing and function of strengthening our country’s foreign propaganda work appear more important.

China’s International Broadcasting Station is an organization that specially undertakes the duty of international broadcasting. In 66 years of development, it has made great achievements. However, compared with the world-famous international dissemination organizations, China’s International Broadcasting Station still has a long way to go. First, along with the change in the development and dissemination pattern of the media environment, new media technology based on the Internet [is growing by] leaps and bounds.
The world’s main international broadcasting media have made a strategy adjustment as a goal of developing new media. In the situation of the day-by-day high-tech, who controls the newest media methods, whose information will disseminate quickly and broadly, and who influences and controls power, will be stronger. Overall, China’s International Broadcasting Station that specifically undertakes the foreign propaganda task is stronger in the traditional media but weaker in the new pattern of media. It is stronger in the channel dissemination but weaker in the multimedia dissemination. Only if we speed up new media development and walk the synthesis media development path, can we meet the rapid development needs of the international media dissemination model. Second, entering the 21st century, international broadcasting has entered a development period that has online broadcasting of new media as the main method. After 66 years of development, China’s International Broadcasting Station has almost reached the development level of British Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America, and a few other world main international media in terms of the broadcasting languages, time periods, broadcasting target rates, and other measures. However, there is a big disparity in the launch retransmission, the service constitution, the human resources, the ground coverage, the funds safeguards, and the technical support, and so on. Speaking overall, our country’s foreign broadcasting cannot meet the needs of the new round of competition with the world’s main international broadcasting media.

The Central Party Committee headed by the general secretary, Comrade Hu Jintao, highly values our country’s foreign broadcast work. In 2004, when Li Changchun and Liu Yunshang inspected China’s International Broadcasting Station, they emphasized that we should surround the goal of enhancing China’s international voice. Through “two hands grasp and two legs walk,” on one hand pays special attention to radio broadcasting, and on the other hand pays special attention to online broadcasting, and quickly establishes the modern international broadcasting system. During the celebration of China’s International Broadcasting Station’s 65 years of establishment, the general secretary, Hu Jintao, pointed out in the written comment, “actively constructing a modern international broadcasting system, unceasingly enhancing our country’s foreign broadcasting quality and level, diligently establishing a bridge of friendship that promotes the mutual understanding between Chinese people and people in other countries, and building a harmonious and friendly world consensus environment for a well-off society.” This symbolizes a new historical period, and our country’s international broadcast has an explicit developmental strategy and goal.

According to the Central Party Committee’s strategic plan and the world’s main media development situation, and based on China’s international broadcasting reality, we have formulated “China’s International Broadcasting Station ‘11.5’ Development Plan Summary.” We will strive to form a bare-bones modern international broadcasting system by 2010. We will catch up on the whole or partially reach the level of the BBC and Voice of America in services, new media development, equipment level, frequency quantity, broadcasting time periods, abroad grounding, abroad stationed organization, audience feedback,
human resources, funds safeguards, research standards, and other important measures. We will build a new media entity combining radio broadcasting, online broadcasting, and multimedia broadcasting, and play a vital role in the competition for world consensus. Presently, we begin with several important aspects, actively advance the modern international broadcasting system construction, and promote the core competitive ability of China’s international broadcasting.

Complete the transition from the sole media to comprehensive media. In transnational and cross-culture information dissemination, the sole media production and transmission platform can no longer comply with the trend of the media development globalization. Currently, the world’s main international broadcasting media are all comprehensive media, and the sole media of the radio, TV, or newspaper is rare. They have all established multimedia information sharing platforms, through the coordination of all kinds of media to share the resources and therefore reduce the dissemination cost. China’s International Broadcasting Station has the sound, audio, network, newspaper, and publication media intelligence, and initially formed a comprehensive media form from first to fifth media means to cover the newspaper, broadcasting, television, the network, the new media, and so on. But for various reasons, the comprehensive influence and competitive abilities need the enhancement of the newspaper, magazine, and television. We must learn from the world’s main international broadcast development direction, fully display the language and the superiority of talented persons, adjust the foreign dissemination work, build the multi-ways and broad coverage for the foreign dissemination network, expand the dissemination space, and gradually form a multimedia development pattern to enhance the overall effect of the international broadcasting. The pattern is centered by the new media services and based on television, newspaper, publication, and magazine business with a reasonable structure, complete classification, disposition science, and smooth operation.

Complete the transformation from the traditional media to the modern media. Coordinate the development of traditional media and modern media, utilizing new and high technologies, especially digital and network technologies, to upgrade traditional media and develop modern media. Based on wireless radio, in worldwide important countries and regions, setup English, Chinese, and multilingual global radio broadcasting by the end of the “11.5” period (2004), and build a good audience of English, Chinese, and local official languages listeners. Based on the frame of online radio, by using the Internet’s features of high-speed, borderless, big-capacity, and openness, develop “International Online” into our country’s online broadcasting center to foreign countries, become the important means and new tools of participating in international media competition. As the direction of new media development, from the high point of controlling cultural communication, mastering ideological propaganda in the information age, use new and high technologies to create new ways of cultural communication, make great efforts to develop new media enterprises based on online radio, TV, cell-phone broadcasting, cell-phone TV, actively control the new media technologies, make more efforts to develop and produce new media contents and programs, establish a united multimedia platform, actively broaden new frontlines of propaganda to foreign countries, accelerate the building of a rapid and broad cultural broadcasting system, and constantly enhance the effectiveness of the new media propaganda to foreign countries.
Complete the transformation from the overseas broadcasting to the international media. International media is an audience-oriented mode, and such a model is obviously very different from our self-oriented overseas broadcasting model. In international media, from the reality of China’s social development, close to the foreign audience’s need of China’s information, close to the foreign audience’s way of thinking, insist on the media notion of “China’s perspective, worldwide view, and humankind’s point of view.”

The so-called “China’s perspective” is to use Deng Xiaoping’s Theory and “Three Represents” as the guide, thoroughly carry on the Scientific Development View, closely staying with the big picture of the Party’s work, 100 percent carry out the strategic decision of the Central Committee, show the core values of socialism from the media propaganda, broadcast the thoughts and spirits that are good to the might of the country, rising of the nation, happiness of the people, and social harmony.

The so-called worldwide view is from the global angle and view to objectively introduce all aspects of China to the world, introduce the ideas and practice of our Party’s Work-for-the-People, Work-for-the-Public, the great achievement of our country’s reform and openness, and socialist modern construction; introduce the peaceful development road, policy and proposal to push to build a harmonious world, introduce the long history and richness of Chinese culture, win the acceptance and understanding of China by the international society.

The so-called humankind’s point of view is to carry on the international broadcast from the standpoint of all of human society, respect and accept cultural differences; respect the values, political attitudes, religious beliefs, living ways, and thinking traditions of different countries, races, and regions.

Establish the broadcast ideology of for-the-audience, care-for-the-audience, understand-the-audience, guide-the-audience; based on the need, reform the programs’ format, optimize programs’ structure, adjust programs’ editing and arrangements, enhance targeting of the programs, increase the attractiveness of the programs; follow the foreign audience’s way of thinking and learning, use international common practice and easy-to-accept languages to foreigners, increase the attractiveness of overseas broadcasting, work hard to combine the targeted audience with China’s view of propaganda, constantly enlarge the international clout of greater China’s culture in the globalization and information ages.

(Author: Manger and Editor-in-Chief of the China’s International Broadcasting Station)

1. Qiushi Magazine,May 1, 2008