Our Basic Viewpoint concerning Journalism

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Lu Dingyi

Dialectical materialism advocates that objects should be interpreted according to their true features, and no misconstruction, increase or decrease should be done. To put it bluntly: dialectical materialism is an honest doctrine, this means it is the doctrine of seeking truth from facts, and is the doctrine of science. Apart from the proletariat, other classes are unable to thoroughly and honestly understand matters, or they are simply not honest, because of their own narrow interest. Only the proletariat, because it is the most advanced productive class, is able to honestly understand matters, according to their true features and not misconstruing matters in any way, augmenting or depleting them in any way, not only is this the case, but also, it is able to oppose all dishonesty, and oppose all misconstruction.

In the area of news undertaking, our viewpoint is the viewpoint of honesty. This sort of viewpoint, was there already when our Party started engaging in its own news undertaking. Since the War of Resistance, the Party’s news undertaking has greatly developed, attracted a large batch of new intellectuals who came into this department and this undertaking. Attracting new blood, is a necessary and indispensible step in the advance and development of the undertaking. But coming together with this, there is also the other side of the situation: after the War of Resistance, intellectuals participating in the Party news undertaking come from the old society, among them, there are also a few people who brought a set of ideologies and a set of journalism theories from the old society. This set of ideologies and this set of journalism theories are very confused, are not very honest, and are even very dishonest, also, they are not very scientific, or are even very unscientific. If this is not reformed, and no education is given, it will not only be useless, but may even be damaging, and there will be no way to do the Party news undertaking well.

Understanding this set of ideologies and journalism theories brought by the old society, understanding where its errors are, for us, has already been a considerably long process. Truly struggling with a set of bad things, has only just begun last year in July with the revised edition of the Liberation Daily, this is conducted under the direct leadership of our Party’s leader, Comrade Mao Zedong. Theory came from reality, and struggled with incorrect journalism theories and practice, and at the same time, enriched and developed our own practice and theory concerning journalism. A preliminary summary can already be made now of the result of this struggle, this may have some benefit to the further development of our Party’s news undertaking. The objective of this text lies here. I hope that everyone does not stint criticism.

First, the origin of news. What is news? There are two sorts of answers to this question. Because of different understandings of the origin of news, one sort of person has come to a materialist resolution on what news is, another sort of person has come to a spiritualist resolution. The materialist person believes that the source of news is a material thing, it is a fact, and it is the fact that occurred in the struggle between humankind and nature and in social struggle. Because of this, the definition of news, is to report newly happening facts. The source of news are facts, news is the reporting of facts, facts are primary, news is secondary, facts are indeed facts, news (reporting) is secondary, this is the viewpoint of the materialist person. Because of this, materialist news workers must respect facts, regardless of whether it is during newsgathering or editing, they must strive to respect objective facts. The spiritualism in journalism theory, was already there very early. Spiritualists’ definition of news is that they believe that news is itself some sort of “quality”, and that the source of news is some sort of remote and uncertain thing. This is what is called “Quality theory” in bourgeois news theory. The earliest “quality theory” believed that “news is itself timely and general”. Afterwards, there were increasingly many variations, replacing ” timeliness” and “generality”, there are the so-called “universality”, “publicity”, “artistry”, “interest”, “integrity”, etc. In short, spiritualists scheme to deny the materialist definition that “news is the reporting of facts”, and interpret news as being some sort of “quality” itself, if something deviates from some sort of “quality”, it cannot be considered as news.

Where is the error of the “quality theory” of the spiritualists? At first sight, it looks as though it is correct, because regardless of which news item is considered, they all are suitable to or seemingly suitable to some sort of “quality”, for example, some news items have “generality”, some have “interest”, etc., furthermore, people advocating that news should have some sort of “quality”, are also somehow able to talk about some one-sided principles, consequently, many news workers, and especially young news workers, may be mislead by this. But, where does the “quality” of news come from? By which things is it decided? We answer that it is decided by the facts reported in news. Interest has a class nature, facts interesting to workers, when written out, become news that is interesting to workers. But the same fact, completely lacks interest to an exploiting, consequently, this news has become uninteresting news to the exploiter. For example, news concerning heroic workers is like this. The facts are complete, and when written out, it becomes complete news, if the facts are not yet complete, news reporting these facts can also not be complete. If the facts are very “artistic”, the reports also naturally have “artistry”, otherwise it will be the opposite, for example, what artistry does news propagating government or Party announcements have? There are numerous instances of this. All of this illustrates that :facts decide the “quality” of news, and it is not the “quality” that has some deciding function concerning objective facts or news (the reporting of facts). The “quality” of spiritualism is to exaggerate one-sided things to become complete things, considering form as essence, considering the subsidiary as the main thing, and considering the accidental as the inevitable, consequently, it is wrong. Going to do things in this way, will lead to going astray. The rogues in the news world advocate the so-called “cherry-blossom stories”, would that not be making “interest” into a signpost? Is using “artistry” as a pretext to exaggerate facts on the ground to become mythical and general facts, not a frequent occurrence in the news world?

This sort of spiritualist “quality theory” has distorted objective reality, on one side, news that everyone can value is depicted as miraculous, which can only “frighten the hicks”, and has no positive function at all; on the other hand, it has had a negative effect on the news undertaking, because of this sort of “quality theory” is to be believed, researching this “quality” or that “quality” more abstrusely every day, cannot have any result in a lifetime, and will lead to separation from the facts, fabrications, moaning and groaning without cause, and indulging in exaggeration. Here, we must specially discuss one sort of especially important “quality theory”, this sort of “quality theory” believes that news is a “political nature” itself. In class societies, every news item, in the final analysis, always has a class nature or a political nature, this is true, in that case, speaking like this, how can this “quality theory” of the “political nature” not be correct? At first sight, this certainly seems to be correct. But with a more careful look, we know that this sort of argument not only is incorrect, but also particularly insidious and particularly venomous, and turns out to be the basis of the fascist “theory of news”.

The news workers of our revolution, since they have a materialist view of society, certainly recognize that every news item, in the end, has a political nature. But we believe  that this sort of political nature, is of secondary nature, is derivative and the subject of decisions in comparison with the facts that embody this sort of political nature, and the primary thing, the most initial thing, is the fact and not whichever “political nature”. Saying that “news is political nature itself” turn the relationship between facts and their political nature upside down. What is the harm in turning things upside down? When matters are turned upside down, it immediately open the door for rumours, misconstruction, boasting, etc. As “news is political nature itself”, everything having a political nature may count as news, then, is it not so that rumours, misconstructions, bragging, etc., with a political nature may obtain news qualification? German, Italian and Japanese fascist “news undertakings” exclusively rely on starting rumours and boasts for food, and do not rely on reporting facts for food, how can they speak plausibly, and have qualifications for existence? Therefore, the relationship between the two sides of facts and the political nature of news, may absolutely not be inverted. We must absolutely understand that facts are of primary importance, and that all “qualities”, including “political nature”, are derivative, subject to decision and secondary in comparison with facts. We must absolutely understand that our revolutionary news workers must respect facts, and moreover respect that facts are closely connected with and inseparable from a political revolutionary nature. Conversely, any case of no respect for facts, even if it is dressed up to look very “revolutionary”, in fact is certainly a reactionary tool.

In the past few years, reactionary spying bastards in the rear area have advocated a so-called “Three Principles of the People news principle”, this is a mutation of the German, Italian and Japanese fascist “news theory”. Under this “principle”, the spies advocate “reasonable rumours”, and openly fakes the popular will or suppresses public opinion. For example, the Henan famine was not permitted to be reported, and Xi’an spies had a conference of ten minutes with nine people to “report”, saying that the “cultural world” of Xi’an advocated to “disband the Communist Party”, etc., this is then their “great news masterpiece.”

Summarizing what I said above, we may understand that the clear boundary between materialism and spiritualism in journalism theory, is whether or not respect for facts is advocated, and whether or not respect for facts is truly practiced. Only by integrating respect for facts with revolutionary viewpoints, it is possible to be a thoroughly materialist news worker. Why can the reactionary class not respect facts, and must they absolutely misconstrue facts or even start rumours with eyes closed? Because they fear facts. Why do some people believe that they cannot respect facts through and through? Because they fear reactionaries to some extent, or pander to them to some extent. Only the proletariat, this most revolutionary class, does not fear facing facts, and has no fear of reactionaries, and does not pander to them, therefore, they can thoroughly respect objective facts.

Second, how can news be truthful? As our news work respect facts, we are not only different from that fascists eating rumour food, but we are also different from common bourgeois news workers. Only we are able to implement a principle, this principle enables our news to be completely truthful. The news theory of the bourgeoisie also discusses the question of how to seek to obtain that news becomes a truthful report of facts. For example, the beginnings of journalism studies, mentioned that every news item must have five factors, being time, place, names, the process and results of facts, these five factors must be present in news, none is dispensable, only then does it count as news. Another example, the bourgeois journalism studies advocate that journalists must go to the place where the event occur when reporting on it for on-the-spot inspection, and furthermore advocate for photographic reporting, etc. We believe that these positions in bourgeois journalism studies are correct (the reasons for this should not be discussed more), but at the same time, we want to point out that wanting to achieve that news is completely truthful, is extremely insufficient, the so-called five factors of news, and the so-called news journalists themselves reporting on the sport and making photographic reports, are forms. These forms are necessary, but if it is believed that this side is everything, it is a large mistake.

First, I talk about the “five factors of news”. Reporting news on a concrete fact must have these five factors, none is dispensable, this is true. But on the other side, is news having these five factors certainly truthful? This is not necessarily the case. In the Liberation Daily, a news item called “The Sound of Spinning and Weaving in All Households in Maxian Town” was published at some point, afterwards it was inspected that at that time, as a matter of fact, there wasn’t a single loom in Maxian Town. When grain taxes were imposed last year, newspapers again carried a piece of information, saying that in Yan’an’s Wuyang district, the storage work was finished first, afterwards it was ascertained that Wuyang was the most backward district concerning grain taxes in Yan’an, and when journalists wrote that information, the storage work had not yet begun! The above two instances are the most classic examples of untrue news. Afterwards, it was ascertained that spying elements often wrote this sort of untrue news, wanting to lower the trustworthiness of the Liberation Daily. But, these news items, from the point of view of form, have every single one of the five factors. Moreover, journalists making on-the-spot inspections is also correct, and it should be recognized that this is a very god method that merits adoption. But can on-the-spot inspection certainly obtain true news? That is also not certain all the time. Because: first, journalists are not persons participating in the inside story of this event, even if their go and inspect themselves, subjectivism is hard to avoid, and superficial reporting even harder to avoid; second, sometimes, journalists investigating on-the-sport, for some reason, still make incomplete or untrue reports; third, if journalists are required to investigate every event themselves on the spot, there certainly will be no way of doing so, either there are too few journalists, or the time is wrong.

Photographic reporting, this is a most trusted method, and can only be done well under conditions of highly developed technology, but even this sort of reports can all be faked. Thus it can be seen that these above methods are all good and are all useful, and as long as technological conditions are fulfilled, sending journalists to investigate on the sport and make photographic reports should all be adopted. But if it is only limited to these, the mistake of formalism will be made, and true news will still not be obtained. How can truthful news then be obtained? Only newspapers serving the people and newspapers closely connected with the people, are able to obtain truthful reporting. This sort of newspaper not only has their own specialist journalists, but moreover, and even more important (repeating it: even more important!) is that they have non-specialist journalists with broad flesh and blood connections with the people. They integrate these two, and the method of integration is: on one side, they mobilize, organize and educate those broad non-specialist journalists having flesh and blood connections with the people, to vigorously work for the newspaper, and to report events in which they participated themselves in newspapers, because they themselves participate in these events, and because their have flesh and blood connections with the people, they are able to report truthful news; on the other hand, they educate specialist journalists, are public servants of the people, and for those people having broad flesh and blood connections with the people, must both be students and teachers. Being students means that they must respect hard work, and seek advice with them on the real situation of facts, respect their using written or oral means to tell the truth of the matter, and come to understand facts with them as teachers, and investigate the truthfulness of news; being teachers, means that they should help them technologically, and enable them to use oral or written means to report facts, produce it into complete news, and through this sort of integration, newspapers can integrate more closely with the people.

This line, this policy, is the line and policy of the Liberation Daily’s construction of a newspaper. Only Communist Party newspapers are able to construct their own newspapers in this way, because they have Communist Party leadership, and because the Communist Party is the vanguard of the people, because they have Communist Party organization on which they can rely, and because every Communist Party member and especially the basic Communist Party backbones have flesh and blood connections with the people, and because they are the most excellent elements among the people. This line, this policy, has first-rate importance for constructing a good newspaper,  is many times better in comparison with stressing the five factors of news, journalists investigating on the sport and other, although the latter still must be stressed and their important side should not be dismissed one-sidedly. This line, this policy, both has the Communist Party leadership and the Communist Party organization as support, and in addition, there are the activities of capable specialist journalists who are faithful to the undertaking of the people, hence, we are able to run a first-class newspaper which will let any bourgeois newspaper pale in comparison, opening a new era in the Chinese newspaper world. Any single newspaper cannot compete with us, because some of them don’t serve the people but serve the reactionaries, some, although they serve the people, don’t have direct Communist Party leadership, and also don’t have the great organization of the Communist Party, which is so advanced, to rely on. This line, this policy, has been carried out for a year now, and as a result has obtained great achievements. Now, we still have to continue to implement it. In order to implement it smoothly henceforth, there are three points that must be put forward and discussed;

The first point, is the line of integrating specialist news workers with non-specialist news workers must be praised, and the line of separating those two must be opposed. The Guomindang reactionaries, and especially that batch of anti-Communist spies, they scheme to instil a sort of reactionary ideology in news workers, and make them believe themselves that they are different from the masses, causing them to become remotely separated from the masses. The Guomindang reactionaries, and especially that batch of spies, hold news journalists to be “uncrowned kings”, to be “persons of foresight”, and even misconstrue history, and say that ever since China has had newspapers, newspapers and journalists have been “revolutionary” (in fact, the earliest modern newspaper in China is run by imperialists, the objective was strategic, later on, official newspapers came in vogue, the objective being to make it easy to control the people, yet later, the people stood up and ran newspapers, only among them, there were some newspapers representing the voice of the people that were revolutionary, but under reactionary control, there are also many reactionary folk-run newspapers), on the other hand, they have conducted ruthless fascist oppression against news workers, did not give news workers opportunities to come in contact with the people, did not give them the power to represent the people’s voice, and used pistols and burial to force newspaper workers to sell their souls, go and become fascist pies, Yuan Shikai and Cao Kun only executed a few journalists, but the Guomindang revolutionaries further intensified this, this is simply because they want to suffocate the whole news world, and execute the overall freedom of speech of the people! Their objective lies in making news workers form a sort of “news valve”, and even become a group of spies utterly devoid of conscience, become separated from the people, become separated from reality, and become opinionated, boastful, and extremely autocratic, in this way, they willingly and gladly become new counterrevolutionary tools for the reactionaries and new despots.

The second point, our news workers must constantly encourage themselves, to be public servants of the people, and should know that although they do not plough, and do not engage in labour, they are all supported by the people, if our work is useless for the people, or instead poison the people, we would be more abominable than insects, and would be more despicable than bums. Our news workers have studied some news technology, but may absolutely not become self-satisfied, look down on people, but on the other hand, our people working s specialist news workers, have many large flaws, because they have no perceptual knowledge of the events that they report, regardless how, they are unable to know matters as thoroughly as people participating in that work themselves and especially those leading that work, or understand it that closely. Therefor, when you make reports, you absolutely must go and seek advice from people who participate in or lead this work themselves, listen carefully, write it down well, after writing matters up, you must also request them to read (or listen) for mistakes and correct mistakes, if it is not written well, you must listen to their opinions and write it again, in order to truly seek to become faithful to the undertaking. Concerning submissions by people who participated in or led work, you must know that their writing skill not being good is a due matter, your task is that you have to learn from them on the one hand, and respect the facts about which they wrote, and on the other hand must be their teachers of “barbers”, and assist them in arranging and polishing it. You must use the largest enthusiasm to reward and encourage them, you don’t have any right to despise or reject them.

The third point, our people running newspapers, must absolutely have the mass viewpoint, and may not have the “news valve” viewpoint. The strength of the masses is the most magnificent, and there are absolutely no exceptions in this in running newspapers. Without mistake, they have no technique, but technique can be raised, this requires a long time of indefatigable education. Since we run newspapers, and if we do not complete this task, who will we then call to complete the task? In this aspect, we still have many things to do, and must still create many new methods.

《我们对于新闻学的基本观点》
陆定一
辩证唯物主义,主张依照事物的本来面目去解释它,而不作 任何曲解或增减。 通俗一点说: 辩证唯物主义就是老老实实主义, 这就是实事求是的主义,就是科学的主义。除了无产阶级以外, 别的阶级,因为他们自己的狭隘利益,对于事物的理解是不能够 彻底老老实实的,或者是干脆不老实的。只有无产阶级,由于它 是最进步的生产者的阶级,能够老老实实的理解事物,按其本来 面目而不加以任何曲解、任何加添或减损,不但这样,而且它能
够反对一切不老实,反对一切曲解。
在新闻事业方面,我们的观点也是老老实实的观点。这种观 点, 在我们党开始从事自己的新闻事业时, 就有了的。 抗战以来, 党的新闻事业是大大的发展了, 吸收了大批新的知识分子到这部 门事业中来。吸收新的血液,乃是事业向前发展中必要的和必有 的步骤。但随此以俱来的,则有事情的另一方面:抗战以后,参 加党的新闻事业的知识分子,乃是来自旧社会的,他们之中,也 就有人带来了旧社会的一套思想意识和一套新闻学理论。 这套思 想意识,这套新闻学理论,是很糊涂的,不大老老实实的,甚至 是很不老老实实的,也就是不大科学的,甚至很不科学的。如果 不加以改造,不加以教育,就会不但无益,而且有害,就无法把 党的新闻事业做好。
了解这套从旧社会里带来的思想意识和新闻学理论, 懂得它 的谬误在那里,对于我们,曾经是一个相当长的过程。真正与这 一套坏东西作斗争,还是解放日报去年四月改版才开始,这是在 我们党的领袖毛泽东同志直接领导下进行的。 理论是从实际中来 的,与不正确的新闻学理论和实践作斗争,就同时丰富了和发展 了我们自己的关于新闻学的实践和理论。这一个斗争的结果,现 在已经可以把它在理论上作一个初步总结, 这对于我们党的新闻
事业的今后发展,是会有点好处的。本文的目的就在这里。希望 大家不吝指教。
第一 新闻的本源 新闻是什么?对于这个问题.有两种回答。由于对于新闻的 本源理解不同,一种人对于新闻是什么,作了唯物论的解决,另 一种人则作了唯心论的解决。
唯物论者认为,新闻的本源乃是物质的东西,乃是事实,就 是人类在与自然斗争中和在社会斗争中所发生的事实。因此,新 闻的定义,就是新近发生的事实的报道。
新闻的本源是事实,新闻是事实的报道,事实是第一性的, 新闻是第二性的,事实在先,新闻(报道)在后,这是唯物论者 的观点。
因此,唯物主义的新闻工作者,必须尊重事实,无论在采访 中,在编辑中,都要力求尊重客观的事实。
新闻学理论中的唯心论,是很早就有的。唯心论者对于新闻 的定义,认为新闻是某种“性质”的本身,新闻的本源乃是某种渺 渺茫茫的东西。这就是资产阶级新闻理论中所谓“性质说”(Qua
litytheofy) 。最早的“性质说”认为“新闻乃是时宜性与一般
性之本身”。后来,花样越来越多,代替“时宜性”“一般性”的, 有所谓“普遍性”“公告性”“文艺性”“趣味性”“完整性”等等。总而 言之,唯心论企图否认“新闻是事实的报道”的唯物论定义,而把 新闻解释为某种“性质”的本身,脱离开了某种“性质”就不成其为 新闻。
这种唯心论的“性质说”其错误在那里呢?初看起来,它似乎 是对的,因为不论从那一条新闻来看,都会是合于或似乎合于某 一种“性质”的,例如有些新闻就有“一般性”,有些就有“趣味性” 等等,而且主张新闻应有某种“性质”的人.也总能讲出一些片面 的道理来的, 因而, 许多新闻工作者, 尤其是年轻的新闻工作者, 就会被它迷惑。但是,新闻的“性质”是从那里来的呢?是由什么 东西决定的呢?我们回答道;是由新闻所报道的事实来决定的。 兴趣是有阶级性的,对于劳动者有兴趣的事实,写出来就成为对 于劳动者有兴趣的新闻。但同一事实,剥削者看来就毫无趣味, 因而这个新闻对于剥削者也就成为无兴趣的新闻。 例如关于劳动 英雄的新闻, 就是如此。 事实完整了, 写出来就成为完整的新闻, 事实尚未完整,报道这个事实的新闻也只能不完整。事实很“文
艺性”,报道也自然会有“文艺性”,否则就相反,例如宣布政府 或党的公告的新闻,有什么文艺性呢?诸如此类,不一而足。这 都说明:事实决定新闻的“性质”,而不是“性质”对于客观事实或 新闻(事实的报道)有什么决定作用。唯心论的“性质说”,把片 面的东西夸大成为全面的东西,把形式当作本质,把附属的当作 主要的,把偶然的当作必然的,因而是错误的。照此做去,必致 误入歧途。 新闻界中的下流坯, 提倡所谓“桃色新闻”“黄色新闻”, 岂不是以“兴趣性”做招牌的么?借口“文艺性”而把地上的事实 夸张成为神话一般的事,在新闻界中岂不也是数见不鲜的么?
这种唯心论的“性质说”歪曲了客观现实,一方面,把人人可 以值得的新闻说得神乎其神,只能“吓唬土包子”,一点积极作用 也没有;另一方面,对新闻事业还起了消极作用,因为如果相信 了这种“性质说”,天天去玄而又玄的研究这个“性”或那个“性”, 就一世也不会有结果, 必致流入脱离事实, 向壁虚造, 无病呻吟, 夸夸其谈。
这里, 我们要专门来讨论一种特别重要的“性质说”, 这种“性 质说”认为:新闻就是“政治性”之本身。
在阶级社会里,每条新闻归根结蒂总有其阶级性或政治性, 这是对的,那末,如此说来,这种“政治性”的“性质说”岂不是正 确的么?乍看起来,这的确像是正确的。但如果仔细一看,就知 道这种说法不仅是不正确的,而且异常阴险,异常恶毒,竟是法 西斯的“新闻理论”基础。
我们革命的新闻工作者,既然有唯物的社会观,就一定承认 每个新闻归根结蒂具有政治性。但是我们认为,这种政治性比起 那包含这种政治性的事实来, 乃是第二性的、 派生的、 被决定的, 而第一性的东西, 最先有的东西, 乃是事实而不是什么“政治性”。 说“新闻就是政治性本身”就是把事实与其政治性的关系,头足倒 置颠倒过来。
颠倒过来有什么害处呢?颠倒过来,立即就替造谣、曲解、 吹牛等等开了大门。既然“新闻就是政治性本身”,凡是有政治性 的都可以算新闻,那末,政治性的造谣、曲解、吹牛等等不是也 就可以取得新闻的资格了么?德意日法西斯“新闻事业”专靠造 谣吹牛吃饭,不靠报道事实吃饭,岂不也就振振有辞,有存在的 资格了么?
所以, 事实与新闻政治性, 二者之间的关系, 万万颠倒不得。
一定要认识事实是第一性的,一切“性质”,包括“政治性”在内, 与事实比起来都是派生的、被决定的、第二性的。一定要认识我 们革命的新闻工作者必须尊重事实, 而且尊重事实是与政治上的 革命性密切结合不可分离的。反之,凡是不尊重事实的,那怕装 得像很“革命”,实际上一定是反动的家伙。
最近几年,大后方反动派特务崽子们,在提倡所谓“三民主 义的新闻原理”,这就是德意日法西斯“新闻理论”的变种。在这 种“原理”之下,特务们提倡“合理的谣言”,公然伪造民意,压制 舆论。例如河南大灾荒不准报道,西安特务开了九个人十分钟的 会就“报道”说西安“文化界”主张“解散共产党”等, 就是他们的“新 闻大杰作”。
总结上面所说,我们可以明白,唯物论与唯心论在新闻学理 论中的一条明确的界线,就是是否主张尊重事实,而且是否在实 践中真正尊重事实。
只有把尊重事实与革命立场结合起来,才能做个彻底的唯物 主义的新闻工作者。反动的阶级,为什么不能尊重事实,必定要 曲解事实,而且要闭着眼睛造谣呢?因为他害怕事实。有些人为
什么不能彻头彻尾尊重事实呢?因为他们对反动派有所畏惧。 有 所迎合。只有无产阶级这个最革命的阶级,不怕面对事实,对反 动派没有任何畏惧,也无所迎合,因此就能彻底尊重客观事实。
第二新闻如何能真实 我们的新闻工作,既然尊重事实,那末我们不但与专吃造谣 饭的法西斯不同,而且与一般的资产阶级新闻工作者不同。只有 我们,才能实行一个方针,这个方针使我们的新闻十分真实。
资产阶级的新闻理论, 也讲到怎样求得新闻成为事实的真实报 道的问题。例如,最初步的新闻学,就说到每条新闻必须有五要 素,即时间、地点、人名、事实的过程与结果,新闻中有了这五 个要素,缺一不可,才算是新闻。再例如资产阶级的新闻学主张 记者报道新闻时必须亲自到发生事件的地点去踏看, 而且主张摄 影的报道等。
资产阶级新闻学中这些主张,我们认为是对的(理由不必多 讲了) ,但我们同时要指出,要想求得新闻十分真实,这是非常 不够的,所谓新闻五要素,所谓新闻记者亲自踏看和摄影报道, 还是形式的。这些形式是必要的,但如果以为这便是一切,乃是 大错的。
先说“新闻五要素”。报道一件具体事实的新闻,必须要有此 五要素,缺一不可,这是对的。但另一方面,有了这五要素的新 闻,是否一定就是真实的呢?那就未必。解放日报上,曾经登载 过一篇叫做“麻县城内家家户户纺织声”的新闻,后来查起来,那 时郴县城内原来还一架纺织机都没有。去年征粮时,报上又曾登 过一条消息,说延安乌阳区首先完成入仓任务,后来查明,乌阳 区在延安征粮中是最落后的一个区,记者写那个消息时,入仓工 作还未开始呢!上述两个,是不真实的新闻的最典型的例子。后 来查出来,特务分子常常写这种不真实的新闻,想来降低解放日 报的信用。但是,这些新闻,就形式而论,则五要素件件具备。
再说记者亲自踏看,这也是对的,而且应该承认这是一个很 好的值得采用的方法。 但是否亲自踏面就一定可以得到真实的新 闻呢?那也未必尽然。因为: 第一,记者既非参与此事内幕的人,他即使亲自踏看,难免主观 主义,更难免浮面肤浅; 第二,有时亲自踏看的记者,为了某种原因,仍旧作不尽不实的 报道; 第三,每件事都要记者亲自去踏看,则势必没有办法,或是记者 太少,或是时间不对。
摄影报道,这是最足信任的办法,要在高度发展的技术条件 下才办得到,但甚至这种报道,都还可以伪造。
由此可见,上面这些办法,都是好的,都是有用的,只要技 术条件具备,派记者亲自踏看和摄影报道都应该采用的。但如果 仅仅限于这些, 就会犯形式主义的错误, 还是得不到真实的新闻。
要怎样才能得到真实的新闻呢? 只有为人民服务的报纸,与人民有密切联系的报纸,才能得 到真实的新闻。
这种报纸,不但有自己的专业的记者,而且,更重要的(再 说一遍:更重要的! )是它有广大的与人民血肉相联的非专业的 记者。它把这二者结合起来,结合的方法就是:一方面,发动组 织和教育那广大的与人民血肉相联的非专业的记者, 积极的为报 纸工作,向报纸报道他自己亲身参与的事实,因为他们亲身参与 这些事实,而且与人民血肉相联,因此他们会报道真实的新闻; 另一方面,教育专业的记者,做人民的公仆,对于那广大的与人 民血肉相联的人们,要做学生又做先生。做学生,就是说,要恭
敬勤劳,向他们去请教事实的真相,尊重他们用书面或口头告诉 你的事实真相,以他们为师来了解事实,来检查新闻的真实性; 做先生,就是在技术上帮助他们,使他们用口头或书面报告的事 实,制成为完全的新闻,经过这种结合,报纸就与人民密切结合 起来了。
这条路线,这个方针,就是解放日报的建设报纸的路线和方 针。只有共产党的党报,才能这样建设自己的报纸,因为它有共 产党的领导,而共产党乃是人民的先锋队,因为它有共产党组织 可以依靠, 而每个共产党员尤其是共产党的基本骨干乃是与人民 血肉相联的,并且是人民中最优秀的分子。
这条路线,这个方针,对于建设一个好的报纸,有头等重要 性,比之讲求新闻五要素,记者亲自踏看等重要得好多倍,虽然 后者还是仍须讲求而不可偏废的重要的方面。
有了这条路线,这个方针,又有了共产党的领导和以共产党 的组织为依靠, 再加上忠实于人民事业的有能力的专业记者的活 动,我们就可以办出一个头等的报纸,使任何资产阶级的报纸望 尘莫及及,开中国报界的新纪元。
任何一个报纸不能与我们竞争, 因为它们有的不是为人民服 务而是为反动派服务的, 有的虽然要为人民服务但没有共产党的 直接领导,也没有共产党这样先进的伟大的组织可以依靠。
这条路线,这个方针,我们行之一年了,结果是得到很大的 成绩。 现在我们还必需将它继续贯彻下去。 为了以后顺利的贯彻, 有三点还必须提出来谈谈;
第一点, 必须赞成把专业的新闻工作者与非专业的新闻工作 者结合起来的路线,而反对那把_二者分裂开来的路线。国民党 反动派,特别是那批反共特务,他们企图对新闻工作者灌输一种 反动的思想,使他们自己认为自己是与众不同的人,叫他们与人 民远远的分裂开来。国民党反动派,特别是那批特务,捧新闻记 者为“无冕之王”,为“先知先觉”,甚至曲解历史,说中国自有报 纸以来,报纸和新闻记者就是“革命”的(其实,中国最早的现代 报纸是帝国主义者办的,目的为了侵略,后来官报盛行,目的是 为了便于统治人民,再后来民间起来办报,其中才有些代表人民 说话的报纸才是革命的,但在反动统治之下,民间的报纸反动的 也很多) ,另一方面,则对新闻工作者施以法西斯的残酷压迫, 不给新闻工作者以与人民接触的机会, 不给他们以替人民说话的 权利,而且用手枪和活埋,强迫新闻工作者出卖灵魂.去当法西
斯特务,袁世凯、曹琨只枪毙几个记者,而国民党反动派则变本 加厉,简直是要窒死全体新闻界,枪毙整个人民言论自由!他们 的目的,就在于使新闻工作者形成一种“报阀”,甚至成为一群丧 尽天良的特务,脱离人民,脱离现实,而还自以为是, 惟我独尊, 这样好甘心情愿给反动派新专制主义者当作反革命的工具使用。
第二点,我们新闻工作者,必须时刻勉励自己,做人民的公 仆,应知我们既不耕田,又不做工,一切由人民供养,如果我们 的工作,无益于人民,反而毒害人民,那就比合虫还要可恶,比 二流子还要卑劣。
我们的新闻工作者, 是学了些新闻技术的, 但万勿以此自满, 看不起人,但是另一方面,我们做专业的新闻工作者的人,却有 很大的缺点,因为你对于你所报道的事实,没有感性知识,无论 如何不会像亲身参加那个工作尤其是领导那个工作的人知道得 那样透彻、了解得那样亲切的。所以在你作报道的时候,你一定 要去请教那亲身参加或领导这件工作的人, 细细的听, 好好的记, 写成之后还要请他看过(或听过)和改过,写得不好就要听他的 意见重新写过,以便真正求得忠于事实。
对于亲身参加或领导工作的人的投稿, 要知道他们写作技术 不好乃是应有的事,你的任务,是要一方面向他学,尊重他所写 的事实,一方面要做他的先生或者“理发员”,帮助整理修饰。你 要用最大的热情去奖掖和鼓励他们, 你没有任何权利去轻视和排 斥他们。
第三点,我们办党报的人,千万要有群众观点,不要有“报 阀”观点。群众的力量是最伟大的,这对于办报毫无例外。不错, 他们是没有技术的,但技术是可以提高的,这需要长期的不倦的 教育。我们既然办报,我们不尽这个责任,倒叫谁来尽这个责任 呢?我们在这方面还有很多事情要做, 而且还需要创造许多新的 办法出来。

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