Concerning Some Problems in Our Party’s News Work

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Jiang Zemin

(28 November 1989)

The Central Propaganda Department organized this news work deliberation class, it is very timely and very necessary. From now on, in all our battle lines, we may regularly organize deliberation classes such as this, link theory with reality, timely summarize experiences, and research a number of problems, this is very beneficial to improving our work.

In the speech of Comrade Deng Xiaoping on 9 June, he required us to “soberly consider the past, and consider the future”. He said: “we must earnestly summarize experiences, the good ones must be continued, the wrong ones must be corrected, the insufficient ones must be given a bit more energy. Generally speaking, we must summarize the present and look towards the future.”

In this news work deliberation class, everyone summarizes the experiences and lessons from the last few years, and especially this turmoil and counterrevolutionary riot, for how to improve news work, not a few good opinions have been spoken, and not a few good suggestions have been put forward. Comrade Ruihuan put forward many important points of view on how to do positive propaganda well in his speech, he spoke very clearly and very concretely. Today, I want to stress a few problems and discuss them with the comrades. These problems have been discussed by everyone, some are stressed again, for some, a few opinions will be supplemented.

I, The problem of the position and function of news work

Throughout its history, our Party has given extremely high regard to new work. From beginning to end it has been believed that our country’s newspapers, radio, television, and so on are the mouthpieces of the Party, the government and the people. This has both explained the nature of news work, and has explained the extremely important position and function it has in Party and State work.

Why can our news work have such an important position and function? This is because it acts as a modernized means of dissemination, and is able to implement the Party’s line, principles and policies among the people in the fastest and broadest way, and to turn them into real action by the masses; it is able to broadly reflect the opinions, calls, determination and aspirations of the masses; it is able to timely disseminate all sorts of domestic and international information, directly influences the masses’ thoughts, actions and political orientation, to guide, mobilize and organize the masses to struggle to understand and realize their own interests.

Everyone knows, that Comrade Mao Zedong once said in his “Talks with the Editing Personnel of the Jinsui Daily” in 1948, the function and strength of newspapers lies in being able to let the Party’s programme, line, principles and policies, work tasks and work methods, meet with the people most rapidly and broadly.” He also said: “They are good at changing Party policies into mass action, are good at not only letting leading cadres understand all campaigns and all struggles, but also to let the broad masses be able to understand them and grasp them, this is a Marxist leadership art.” “When the masses know the truth, and have a common objective, they will do it with one mind.” “When the masses are of one mind, all matters will be done well”.

Since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, our news undertaking has developed very rapidly, in the same way as all undertakings in construction and reform. The news world has also brought order our of chaos, and rectified “leftist” errors, it has shifted the focus of Party work towards the economy, has persisted in the Four Cardinal Principles, persisted in reform and opening up, has made many contributions to moving Socialist modernization construction forward, and has given rein to an important function in propagating and implementing the line since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress and a series of major policies and principles. Ten years later, our achievements that have attracted worldwide attention, include the labour and toil of news workers. This must be fully affirmed.

But we must soberly be aware that, the flood of the ideological trend of bourgeois liberalization, up to the turmoil and counterrevolutionary riot at the end of this year’s spring, has revealed that not a few problems still exist in the news world, and that some are correspondingly grave. Naturally, there are those that showed themselves very well, such as the “Liberation Army Daily”, the “Beijing Daily” and many provincial, municipal and autonomous region newspapers, but there indeed were not a few who vacillated, and there were still some who changed direction. Especially a number of main news work units of the Centre’s first level and the “World Economic Guide” in Shanghai, since a while, have disseminated not a few bourgeois liberalization viewpoints, and marched ever further during the period of turmoil. They not only did not propagate the correct voice of the Centre, instead, they violated the Centre’s correct principles and policies, and openly sung a different tune; they not only did not go to expose and criticize bourgeois liberalization and stop the turmoil, instead, they provided a public opinion battleground for the plotters and supporters, and had an effect of inflaming people and adding fuel to the flames during the formation and development of the turmoil, creating extremely large confusion among the masses. Their influence is very bad, the lessons deep. This also illustrates from the negative side the extreme importance of news work, if public opinion tools are not grasped in true Marxists’ hands, and public opinion guidance is not conducted according to the will and interests of the Party and the people, it may bring about may grave, dangerous and huge losses.

It can be said like this, in the face of this grave test, many news work units were good, but some news work units have not passed the exam, some even can be said to have been utterly routed. Naturally, when I say here “not passing the exam”, is not to say that the news workers in these news work units all haven’t passes, the majority of comrades among them are also good, but it is to say that grave mistakes have occurred in these news work units concerning public opinion guidance.

The main responsibility for the appearance of these mistakes, the occurrence of these problems is with the main central leading comrades. As far as these news work units are concerned, the responsible comrades there, also have a part of responsibility of their own.

This storm is already past. After the 4th Plenum of the 13th Party Congress, the situation on the news battle line is good. The broad news workers vigorously propagate the Party and government principles and policies, and have made their own contributions to speedily stabilize the situation in the entire country and move all work forward. These work units in which mistakes have occurred in public opinion orientation have already been turned around. But we cannot yet appraise matters to highly the transformation of thought is not the work of a single morning or evening. We must truly resolve ideological problems, and must do large amounts of deep and meticulous work.

The problems of the present are that we must continue to soberly rethink matters, earnestly summarize experiences and draw lessons. After having walked a crooked path and having met with defeat, the most important thing is to be able to learn from our mistakes. This work of summarizing experiences must be done deeply, and it must be absolutely stressed that it cannot be a matter of going through the motions, and cannot be done perfunctorily. This lesson is to deep, the harm to the undertaking of our Party and country is too large, from now on, we can absolutely not permit recurrence.

II, The problem of the basic principles in news work

The socialist news undertaking is the same as the Socialist literary, artistic, publishing and other undertakings, although they all have their own characteristics and concrete development rules, they all are component parts in the ideological sphere, and must all serve Socialism and serve the people. Even though the concrete form, content and methods of service are not completely the same, they must all abide by this basic principle.

Our Party guides news work, and there are many other principles and policies. These principles and policies all embody and submit to the Party line and this basic principle.

We often say, serving the people wholeheartedly, is the basic purpose of the Party. Our Party’s leadership over the broad popular masses, during the period of the new democratic revolution, has overturned three large mountains, and realized the national liberation and social liberation of the people; after the establishment of the New China, we engaged in the Socialist transformation of private ownership of the means of production, and eliminated the exploiting system; after the establishment of the Socialist system, we strove to conduct economic construction, and especially since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, we concentrated forces to develop social productivity, perfect the socialist system and incessantly improve the people’s material and cultural life. These are all different historical period, in which the highest and most basic interests of the people were served. Therefore, now serving Socialism is completely identical to serving the people. Deviating from the Socialist path, is also basically deviating from the people, and violating the people’s highest interest.

In the new historical period, news work that persists in serving Socialism and serving the people, must firmly and completely correctly propagate the basic Party line, propagate the theory and policies of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and propagate the achievements and experiences from the people of all ethnicities in the entire nation in modernization construction, reform and opening up. At present, the broad cadres and masses all are implementing the spirit of the 4th and 5th Plenum, all news work units must closely revolve around safeguarding and developing a secure and united political picture, move improvement, rectification and deepening reform forward, realize sustained, stable and coordinated development of the national economy, strengthen Socialist spiritual civilization construction, and deploy and launch news and propaganda work.

International hostile forces are intensifying their practice of peaceful evolution strategies against Socialist countries. A good few Eastern European countries have suddenly suffered unrest. A number of western countries continue to implement “economic sanctions” against our country, our national economy faces not a few difficulties, a number of people obstinately persisting in capitalist liberalization standpoints wait for an opportunity to act, some have not yet stopped their activities. In the face of such intricate and complex international and domestic circumstances, Comrade Xiaoping reminded us again and again: the most important thing is national stability, stability overwhelms everything. We must maintain a sober brain, consolidate our own front line, calmly approach all sorts of problems. Persisting in the Socialist road, must be extremely clear and extremely firm. We must, just like Comrade Mao Zedong said, during times of difficulty, look at results, look at the light, raise our faith and courage. At present, we must especially stress  conducting patriotic, Socialist, collectivist, education and education on maintaining independence, self-regeneration, working diligently in spite of difficulties, and building up the country through thrift and ardour in the whole society, encourage the popular masses’ ethnic self-respect and self-confidence, inspire spirits, be of one heart and mind, vanquish difficulties, and incessantly push the construction and reform of our country forward. In these aspects, the Centre has placed great expectations on the broad news workers, and hopes that everyone fully gives rein to vigour ad creativity, and contributes their own intelligence and ability.

III, The problem of the Party nature of news work

Our news work is an important component part of the overall undertaking of the Party. Therefore, it goes without saying that we must persist in the principle of the Party nature. This is, of course, well known by the comrades at the news battle line and especially the older comrades. But, in recent years, some people have unexpectedly started questioning this basic issue, some even advocated that the so-called democratic nature is higher than the Party nature.

Our party is the vanguard of the working classes, and represents the basic interest of the working class and the broadest popular masses, apart from the basic interest of the working class and the popular masses, it does not have any interest of its own. Persisting in the principle of the Party nature, is also to persist in the principle of the basic interest of the working class and the popular masses, the two are completely identical. Putting forward that the “democratic nature” is higher than the Party nature, essentially is to deny and cat off the leadership of the Party over then news undertaking. If it is said that before, we had some comrades who did not see the substance of these viewpoints too clearly, now, through this turmoil and counterrevolutionary riot, they understand it thoroughly and it has become abundantly clear.

In the turmoil, an extremely small number of people who obstinately persist in bourgeois liberalization viewpoints flaunt the banner of the “democratic nature”, they pose as representing the people, and hence resist and oppose the correct policy of the Party Centre to stop the turmoil and put down the counterrevolutionary riot. In fact, the work units dominated by persons persisting in bourgeois liberalization basically are not mouthpieces representing the people’s interest and disseminating the voices of the people, but have become tools for violating the will of the people, and producing public opinion opposing the Party and opposing the Socialist system.

Persisting in the principle of the Party nature, requires that news and propaganda must maintain consistency with the Party Centre politically. All levels’ Party newspapers must act in this way, departmental and specialist newspapers must also act in this way. Although many newspapers do not carry an inherent political nature, as regards the news and propaganda of any newspaper, radio station or television station generally, this cannot be separated from politics. In these few years, the formulation of “weakening” politics has emerged in the news world. But in fact, an extremely small number of people has not “weakened” their politics, but strengthened their bourgeois standpoints, and intensified activities denying the Four Cardinal Principles. News and propaganda maintaining consistency with the Party Centre politically absolutely is not mechanically and simply repeating some political slogans, but is to stand on the standpoint of the Party and people, adopt many kinds of diverse methods to vividly and vigorously reflect and concentrate the Party’s political viewpoints, principles and policies in news, reporting, discussion, images, titles, writings and all other aspects.

Persisting in the principle of the Party nature, requires that news workers must maintain the broadest and deepest connection with the popular masses, and derive wisdom and strength from the practice of the masses. In these few years, many excellent news workers have exactly done this. They have written large amounts of good works reflecting the historical creative activities of the popular masses, which have received praise from the masses. But, there really are also a number of news workers, who did not diligently reflected the deeply moving achievements that the broad workers, peasants, intellectuals and Liberation Army officers and men contributed selflessly and worked oblivious of their own interests in construction and reform, and even pursued treachery and monstrosity in their writing and level, becoming ever more removed from the masses.

I’d like to use this opportunity to put forward an eager hope to the entire body of news workers: go into life, go into the masses. Go back to the basics, the creators of material wealth are the masses, the creators of spiritual wealth are the masses as well. The great practice of the masses engaging in Socialist modernization construction and reform, is an endless source of raw material, inspiration, thoughts and artistic technique for news works and writing. Our news workers must conscientiously learn from the masses, learn from their excellent character, precious experience, rich knowledge, lively language, and strive to become news workers that are deeply welcomed by the masses.

To persist in the principle of the Party nature, we must persist in unwaveringly oppose bourgeois liberalization and clearly show our colours in news and propaganda. We cannot be careless in this point. In the past few years, there have been repeated rise and falls in this struggles, with the result that liberalization ideology trends became worse and worse, and ultimately bred this turmoil and counterrevolutionary riot. The lessons of history are not far away, our news workers and the comrades in the entire Party must firmly remember this lesson paid for in blood, and can absolutely not repeat this mistake. The ideological sphere, if it is not occupied by Socialist ideology, will inevitably be occupied by capitalist ideology. This is a truth, and should become the maxim of all our news workers and propaganda workers. Our newspapers and periodicals, radio and television, from now on, cannot be permitted to provide battlegrounds for capitalist liberalization again. As for this extremely small number of people who in recent years disseminated capitalist liberalization viewpoints,  such as so-called political pluralism, economic privatization, middle class theory, complete Westernization theory, the theory that Marxism-Leninism is outmoded, etc., all news work units must earnestly and vigorously organize forces, and on the basis of their own reading public, write a batch of convincing, high-quality critical articles, in order to clear up the ideological confusion created by these reactionary and erroneous viewpoints in people’s mind. Marxism is persisted in and developed in struggle. Only by overcoming wrong things, will we be able to benefit the establishment and development of correct things. Only by conducting this sort of grave and scientific criticism, will we be able to unify thoughts, strengthen unity and stabilize the larger picture.

IV, The problem of “news freedom”

In recent years, “news freedom” became an important slogan for an extremely small number who obstinately persisted in bourgeois liberalization viewpoints to struggle with the Party and the people. They know fully that, if they have this sort of freedom, they may without limits attack the Party, attack Socialism, wantonly propagate their political viewpoints, mess people’s thoughts, mess up our country, to reach their political objective.

Any freedom is always not abstract but concrete, it is not absolute but it is relative. In any single country, unlimited “news freedom” does not exist. The opposition between Socialism and capitalism that exists internationally, under circumstances of domestic class struggle still existing to a certain extent, freedom cannot but have a class nature.

“News freedom” as flaunted by Western countries, essentially is the news freedom of the capitalist class, and serves to safeguard the interests of the capitalist class and the capitalist system. The law of Western countries has many limits on news activities, such as provisions that it is prohibited to carry national military secrets; it is prohibited to incite rebellions or insurrections; they may not violate social order; they may not slander other persons, etc. The news undertaking of Western countries, regardless of whether it is organized by Parties or governments, or run by private persons, they all have a financial consortium or political consortium as background. If activities of news employees, they violate the will or interests of the financial consortium or political consortium to which they belong, they are fired. As far as the labouring masses are concerned, even if there are provisions on the freedom to run news undertakings in the texts of the law, in face, this cannot be realized. Over there, in the end, having money means having freedom, not having money means not having freedom, how much money you have is how much freedom you have. Sometimes, newspapers also carry a some things in which the capitalist class mutually expose each other’s misdeeds, and they mutually quarrel, giving the people a semblance of news freedom. In fact, this sort of freedom also is not unlimited, and still has not harming the overall interest of the capitalist class as precondition. As for news activities attempting to change the capitalist system, the law has never abandoned punishment.

Under the Socialist system, news is not longer a privately owned undertaking, but is the undertaking of the Party and the undertaking of the People. Our Constitution provides that freedom of speech and publication are basic rights of citizens of the People’s Republic of China. The broad popular messes enjoy the right and freedom to use news tools to fully express opinions and express their will according to the law, and enjoy the right and freedom to conduct public opinion supervision over State and societal affairs. It is in order to safeguard the people’s basic rights and interests, that it is not only impossible to grant freedom to all unlawful news activities plotting to change the Socialist system, but that it must be sanctioned according to the law.

International hostile forces and domestic people obstinately persisting in bourgeois liberalization viewpoints, have made “news freedom” into an important tool to realize peaceful evolution. This problem, especially where our news workers are concerned, we must soberly understand, we must maintain high vigilance, and unforgivingly expose their deception.

Here, I’d also like to speak a little about something that was fashionable for a certain period, the problem of putting forward so-called “transparency”. This problem must be concretely analysed. There are some things that should be transparent and indeed must be transparent, there are some things that cannot be transparent right away, and can only be made transparent when the opportunity is ripe, there are some things that cannot be transparent. There are some affairs that are limited to being known and grasped by a part of personnel, but this does not mean that they have some special privilege, but is its because of the needs of work, or the needs of the undertaking. In military affairs, foreign relations affairs, political affairs, economic affairs, scientific and technological affairs, etc., there are some things that fall under State secrets, and cannot be seen in various newspapers, on radio or television. This is so in any country. Requiring that any situation is transparent, and thinking that only this is democratic or free, is not being young and ignorant, it is having an ulterior motive. What can be transparent, what cannot be transparent, to what a bit of transparency can be added, must all have the Party’s interest, the State’s interest, the nation’s interest and the people’s interest as standard, and it must be considered whether or not they benefit social stability, political stability, economic stability and stability in people’s hearts.

V, The problem of the truth of news

The truthfulness of news, is the ideological line that the Party starts from reality in everything, and seeks truth from facts, in news work. We candidly point out the principles of class nature and Party nature in news work, because the class nature and Party nature of our news work are consistent with truthfulness.

Socialism is the new-born social system in human history, it is hard to avoid that it will encounter difficulties on the road ahead, or suffer setbacks, but it can overcome any difficulty, conquer any complication, and incessantly develop ahead, revealing an unconquerable vitality. Through construction and reform, our Socialist material civilization and spiritual civilization will develop ever more, our Socialist system will be come ever more perfect, and will reveal ever more superiority. Our Party and State undertakings flourish more every day. This requires news and propaganda to strive to bring this basic fact to light in all aspects. Just like Comrade Ruihuan stressed in his speech, we must give first place to propagating the positive side. We must propagate the new achievements, new creations, and new experiences of the popular masses in practice with great enthusiasm and let the masses see their own wisdom and strength, raising their Socialist vigour. We must regularly reflect the opinions and requirements of the masses. We must maintain the openness of all democratic channels, and cannot block criticism.

Real life is complex, and looking for a few examples to prove any viewpoint is not difficult. When one leaf blocks the eyes, one cannot see Mount Tai, grasping one point and not touching upon the rest, even though this leaf or this point really exists, generally speaking, truthfulness has been deviated from. Therefor, our news workers must achieve that they truly reflect life, which means that they must deeply conduct investigation and research, not only achieving that the individual facts they report are true and correct, but they must especially stress and be good at grasping the truthfulness of things from the general and essential angles and from development trends. We must prevent against the search for rarities and the hunt for the unusual, and prevent against groundless accusations. We must, under the preconditions of truth and correctness, stress timeliness.

In social life, there is a bright side, and there is also a dark side. The situation and nature of the dark side have nothing in common. As for the problem of plotting to subvert our Socialist republic and overthrowing Communist Party leadership, which has a class struggle nature, we must expose this while clearly showing our colours, the objective is to attack hostile forces; concerning flaws and mistakes among the people, these should also be exposed and criticized, but this sort of exposure and criticism must be “disappointment that iron does not become steel”, the objective is to help overcome flaws and rectify mistakes in a comradely spirit. Concerning criticism of flaws and mistakes in Party and government work, as long as it is well-intentioned and benefits improving work, we should all enthusiastically welcome it. Important critical reports must be communicated to relevant leading work units, and their opinions heard. After critical reports are published, the result of handling the problem must also be published, this also benefits raising the prestige of newspapers.

VI, The problem of Party leadership over news work

Strengthening Party leadership over news work mainly means that we must grasp the political orientation of news and propaganda well, grasp news reform well, grasp summarizing the experiences in news work well, grasp news team construction, and especially the construction of leading ranks well. At present, we must earnestly conduct investigation and clean-up work, and especially must inspect clearly the situation of leadership ranks and cadres in key departments. Leadership power must absolutely be closely grasped in the hands of Marxists. We must unite the absolute majority of comrades.

All levels’ Party Committees must frequently research and discuss news work. For example, the propaganda policies, guiding ideologies, reporting focus points, propaganda effects, etc., should all be discussed in Party Committees every period. Party Committees’ main responsible comrades must themselves inquire about news and propaganda. They must timely report situations to news work units, transmit tasks, put forward requirements, and check important editorials, comments and news contributions themselves. Concerning difficulties encountered by news work units in their work, they must give full concern, and assist in their resolution. They must, together with comrades in news work units, research how to incessantly raise the level and effect of news and propaganda, and run newspapers, radio and television in an attractive and infectious way, causing readers, listeners and viewers to love to read, love to listen and love to watch.

In recent decades, the Party led news undertakings, and accumulated rich experiences, it has its own excellent traditions and excellent work styles. We must, on the basis of the changes in circumstances of real life today, inherit and carry forward these good experiences, good traditions and good work styles. Our news reform also faces many new tasks. The objective of reform, is exactly to cause news to become an even better mouthpiece for the Party, the government and the people, and even better give rein to a vigorous function in Socialist modernization construction. I hope that the comrades truly look closely at the new international and domestic circumstances, and incessantly strengthen Marxist theory study and news work study in practice, causing our Socialist new understanding to become ever better.

 

关于党的新闻工作的几个问题
江泽民

(一九八九年十一月二十八日)
中宣部举办这个新闻工作研讨班,很及时,很必要。今后,我们各条战线,都可以定期举办这样的研讨班,理论联系实际,及时总结经验,研究一些问题,这对于改进我们的工作,是很有益处的。

邓小平同志在六月九日的讲话中,要求我们“很冷静地考虑一下过去,也考虑一下未来”。他说:“要认真总结经验,对的要继续坚持,失误的要纠正,不足的要加点劲。总之,要总结现在,看到未来。”

在这次新闻工作研讨班上,大家结合近几年来特别是这次动乱和反革命暴乱中的经验教训,就如何改进新闻工作,讲了不少好的意见,提出了不少好的建议。瑞环同志在讲话中,对新闻如何搞好正面宣传,提出了许多重要观点,讲得很明确、很具体。今天,我想着重就几个问题和同志们一起商讨。这些问题,大家都谈到了,有的再强调一下,有的再补充讲点意见。

一、新闻工作的地位和作用问题

我们党历来非常重视新闻工作。始终认为,我们国家的报纸、广播、电视等是党、政府和人民的喉舌。这既说明了新闻工作的性质,又说明了它在党和国家工作中的极其重要的地位和作用。

为什么我们的新闻工作会具有这样重要的地位和作用呢?这是因为,它作为现代化的传播手段,能够最迅速、最广泛地把党的路线、方针、政策贯彻到群众中去,并变为群众的实际行动;能够广泛地反映群众的意见、呼声、意志、愿望;能够及时地传播国内国际的各种信息,直接影响群众的思想、行为和政治方向,引导、激励、动员、组织群众为认识和实现自己的利益而斗争。

大家都知道,毛泽东同志早在一九四八年《对晋绥日报编辑人员的谈话》中就说过:“报纸的作用和力量,就在它能使党的纲领路线,方针政策,工作任务和工作方法,最迅速最广泛地同群众见面。”他还说:“善于把党的政策变为群众的行动,善于使我们的每一个运动,每一个斗争,不但领导干部懂得,而且广大的群众都能懂得,都能掌握,这是一项马克思列宁主义的领导艺术。”“群众知道了真理,有了共同的目的,就会齐心来做。”“群众齐心了,一切事情就好办了。”

十一届三中全会以来,我们的新闻事业同建设和改革的各项事业一样,发展很快。新闻界为拨乱反正、纠正“左”的错误,把党的工作重点转移到经济建设上来,坚持四项基本原则,坚持改革开放,推进社会主义现代化建设做出了很多贡献,在宣传贯彻十一届三中全会以来的路线和一系列重大方针政策方面发挥了重要作用。十年来我们取得的举世瞩目的成就中,包含着广大新闻工作者的劳动和心血。对此必须充分肯定。

但是,我们要清醒地看到,近几年来资产阶级自由化思潮泛滥,直到今年春夏之交发生动乱和反革命暴乱,暴露出新闻界存在不少问题,有的还相当严重。当然,有表现得很好的,如《解放军报》和《北京日报》以及许多省、市、自治区的报纸,但确有不少动动摇摇的,还有转向的。特别是中央一级的一些主要新闻单位和上海的《世界经济导报》,一段时间以来,散布了不少资产阶级自由化观点,在动乱期间更是愈走愈远。不但不宣传中央正确的声音,反而违背中央的正确方针和决策,公开唱反调;不但不去揭露和批判资产阶级自由化,制止动乱,反而为动乱、暴乱的策划者和支持者提供舆论阵地,对动乱的形成和发展起了煽风点火、推波助澜的作用,在群众中造成极大的思想混乱。影响很坏,教训深刻。这也从反面说明了新闻工作的极端重要性,说明新闻宣传一旦出了大问题,舆论工具不掌握在真正的马克思主义者手中,不按照党和人民的意志、利益进行舆论导向,会带来多么严重的危害和巨大的损失。

可以这样说,在这次严峻考验面前,多数新闻单位是好的,但有些新闻单位是考试不合格的,有的甚至可以说是溃不成军。当然,我这里说的“考试不合格”,不是说这些新闻单位的新闻工作者都不合格,他们中的大多数同志也是好的,而是说这些新闻单位在舆论导向上发生了严重的错误。

出现这些错误,发生这些问题,主要责任在中央的主要领导同志。从这些新闻单位来说,那里的负责同志,也有自己的一份责任。

这场风波已经过去了。十三届四中全会以后,新闻战线的形势是好的。广大新闻工作者,积极宣传党和政府的方针、决策,为迅速稳定全国局势,推进各项工作,做出了自己的贡献。那些在舆论导向上曾经发生过错误的单位,也已经转过来了。但还不能估计过高,思想的转变不是一朝一夕之功。要真正解决思想问题,需要做大量深入细致的工作。

现在的问题是要继续冷静反思,认真总结经验,吸取教顺。走了弯路,打了败仗之后,最重要的是能够吃一堑长一智。这个总结经验的工作还需要深入,千万注意不能走形式,不能浮皮潦草。这次教训太深刻了,对我们党和国家的事业危害太大了,今后决不允许再重演。

二、新闻工作的基本方针问题

社会主义的新闻事业同社会主义的文学、艺术、出版等事业一样,虽然各有自己的特点和具体发展规律,但是它们作为意识形态领域的组成部分,都要为社会主义服务,为人民服务。尽管服务的具体形式、内容、方法不尽相同,但都必须遵循这个基本方计。

我们党指导新闻工作,还有许多其他的方针、政策、原则。这些方针、政策、原则,都是体现和服从党的路线和这个基本方针的。

我们常讲,全心全意为人民服务,是党的根本宗旨。我们党领导广大人民群众,在新民主主义革命时期,推翻三座大山,实现人民的民族解放和社会解放;在新中国成立后,进行生产资料私有制的社会主义改造,消灭剥削制度;在社会主义制度建立以后,努力进行经济建设,特别是十一届三中全会以来,集中力量发展社会生产力,完善社会主义制度,不断改善人民的物质文化生活。这些都是在不同的历史阶段,为人民的最高最根本的利益服务。所以,现在为社会主义服务同为人民服务,是完全一致的。离开了社会主义道路,也就从根本上脱离了人民,违背了人民的最高利益,

在新的历史时期,新闻工作坚持为社会主义服务,为人民服务,就要坚定地全面准确地宣传党的基本路线,宣传建设有中国特色的社会主义的理论和决策,宣传全国各族人民在现代化建设和改革开放中的业绩和经验。当前,广大干部和群众都在贯彻四中全会、五中全会精神,各新闻单位要紧紧围绕维护和发展安定团结的政治局面,推进治理整顿和深化改革,实现国民经济持续、稳定、协调发展,加强社会主义精神文明建设,来部署和开展新闻宣传工作。

国际敌对势力对社会主义国家正在加紧推行和平演变的战略。东欧好几个国家急剧动荡。西方一些国家继续对我国实行“经济制裁”,我们的国民经济面临不少困难,一些顽固坚持资产阶级自由化立场的人还在伺机活动,有的还没有停止活动。面对这样错综复杂的国际国内形势,小平同志一再提醒我们:最重要的是国家的稳定,稳定是压倒一切的。我们要保持清醒的头脑,稳住自己的阵脚,沉着对待各种问题。坚持社会主义道路,要非常明确,非常坚定。要像毛泽东同志讲的那样,在困难的时候,要看到成绩,看到光明,提高我们的信心和勇气。当前要特别注意在全社会进行爱国主义、社会主义、集体主义、独立自主、自力更生、艰苦奋斗、勤俭建国的教育,激励人民群众的民族自尊心、自信心,振奋精神,同心同德,战胜困难,把我国的建设和改革不断推向前进。在这方面,中央对广大新闻工作者寄予厚望,希望大家充分发挥积极性、创造性,贡献自己的聪明才智。

三、新闻工作的党性问题

我们的新闻工作是党的整个事业的一个重要组成部分。因此不言而喻,必须坚持党性原则。这本来是新闻战线的同志特别是老同志都熟知的。但是,近几年来,有的人在这样根本性的问题上竟然发生了疑问,有的甚至主张所谓人民性高于党性。

我们党是工人阶级的先锋队,代表工人阶级和最广大人民群众的根本利益,除了工人阶级和人民群众的根本利益以外,没有自己的任何私利。坚持党性原则,也就是坚持工人阶级和人民群众的根本利益的原则,两者是完全一致的。提出“人民性”高于党性,实质就是要否定和摆脱党对新闻事业的领导。如果说以前我们有些同志对这种观点的实质还看不太清楚的话,那么经过这次动乱和反革命暴乱就洞若观火、昭然若揭了。

在动乱中,极少数顽固坚持资产阶级自由化立场的人打着“人民性”的旗号,以人民的代表自居,以此抵制、反对党中央制止动乱和平息反革命暴乱的正确决策。事实上,被坚持搞资产阶级自由化的人所把持的新闻单位,根本不是代表人民利益、传播人民的声音的喉舌,而成了违背人民意志,制造反对党、反对社会主义制度的舆论的工具。

坚持党性原则,就要求新闻宣传在政治上必须同党中央保持一致。各级党报要这样,部门的和专业性的报纸也要这样。虽然有许多新闻本身不带政治性质,但是,从任何一个报纸、电台、电视台的总的新闻宣传来说,都不可能脱离政治。这几年新闻界出现了所谓“淡化”政治的提法。但是事实上极少数人并没有“淡化”他们的政治,而是在那里强化资产阶级政治观点,加紧进行否定四项基本原则的活动。新闻宣传在政治上同党中央保持一致,决不是机械地简单地重复一些政治口号,而是站在党和人民的立场上,采取多种多样的方式,把党的政治观点、方针政策,准确地生动地体现和贯注到新闻、通讯、言论、图片、标题、编排等各个方面。

坚持党性原则,就要求新闻工作者必须同人民群众保持最广泛最深刻的联系,从群众的实践中汲取智慧和力量。这几年,许多优秀的新闻工作者,正是这样做的。他们写出了大量反映人民群众历史创造活动的好作品,受到了群众的赞扬。但是,也确有一些新闻工作者,不去努力反映在建设和改革中忘我工作、无私奉献的广大工人、农民、知识分子和解放军指战员的可歌可泣事迹,甚至连文风和语言也追求诡谲怪异,越来越脱离群众。

我想借此机会向全体新闻工作者提出一个殷切的希望:到生活中去,到群众中去。归根到底,物质财富的创造者是群众,精神财富的创造者也是群众。群众进行社会主义现代化建设和改革的伟大实践,是新闻作品写作的原料、灵感、思想和艺术技巧的无尽源泉。我们的新闻工作者要老老实实地向群众学习,学习他们的优秀品质、宝贵经验、丰富知识、生动语言,努力成为深受群众欢迎的新闻工作者。

坚持党性原则,就必须在新闻宣传中旗帜鲜明地坚持不懈地反对资产阶级自由化。这一点决不能含糊。前些年,这场斗争曾经几起几落,结果使自由化思潮愈演愈烈,最后酿成了这场动乱和反革命暴乱。殷鉴不远,我们的新闻工作者和全党同志务必牢牢记取这个血的教训,决不能再蹈覆辙。意识形态领域,社会主义思想不去占领,资本主义思想就必然去占领。这是一个真理,应该成为我们所有新闻工作者和宣传工作者的座右铭。我们的报刊、广播、电视,今后决不允许再为资产阶级自由化提供阵地。对于这些年来极少数人所散布的资产阶级自由化观点,比如所谓政治多元化、经济私有化、中产阶级论、全盘西化论、马列主义过时论等等,各新闻单位都要认真地积极地组织力量,根据自己的读者对象,写出一批有说服力的高质量的批判文章,以澄清那些反动的错误的观点在人们头脑中造成的思想混乱。马克思主义是在斗争中坚持和发展的。只有克服错误的东西,才有利于树立和发展正确的东西。只有进行这种严肃的科学的批判,才能统一认识,增强团结,稳定大局。

四、“新闻自由”问题

这些年来,“新闻自由”成了极少数顽固坚持资产阶级自由化立场的人同党和人民进行斗争的一个重要口号。他们深知,如果他们有了这种“自由”,就可以不受限制地攻击党、攻击社会主义,放肆地宣传他们的政治主张,搞乱人们的思想,搞乱我们的国家,达到他们的政治目的。

任何自由从来都不是抽象的而是具体的,不是绝对的而是相对的。在任何一个国家中,都不存在绝对的毫无限制的“新闻自由”。在国际上还存在社会主义和资本主义的对立,在国内阶级斗争还在一定范围内存在的情况下,自由就不能不带有阶级性。

西方国家标榜的“新闻自由”,实质就是资产阶级的新闻自由,是为维护资产阶级利益和资本主义制度服务的。西方国家的法律对新闻活动有许多限制,比如规定不得登载国家军事机密;不得煽动暴动或叛乱;不准危害社会秩序;不得诽谤他人等等。西方国家的新闻事业,不论是由政党、政府举办,还是由私人举办都有财团或政治集团为背景。新闻从业人员的活动,如果违背了他们所从属的财团或政治集团的意志、利益,就会被解雇。对劳动群众来说,即使法律条文上有办新闻事业的自由的规定,事实上也是不可能实现的。在那里,说到底,是有钱就有自由,没有钱就没有自由,有多少钱就有多少自由。有时报刊上也登载一些资产阶级内部互相攻讦、互相争吵的东西,给人以新闻自由的假象。其实这种自由也不是无限度的,仍然是以不损害资产阶级的整体利益为前提的。对于试图改变资本主义制度的新闻活动,法律从来没有放弃过惩罚。

在社会主义制度下,新闻不再是私有者的事业,而是党的事业,人民的事业。我们的宪法规定,言论、出版自由是中华人民共和国公民的基本权利。广大人民群众享有依法运用新闻工具充分发表意见、表达自己意志的权利和自由,享有对国家和社会事务实行舆论监督的权利和自由。正是为了维护人民的根本利益,对于一切企图改变社会主义制度的违法新闻活动,不但不能给予自由,而且要依法制裁。

国际敌对势力和国内顽固坚持资产阶级自由化立场的人,把“新闻自由”作为实现和平演变的一个重要手段。在这个问题上,特别是我们的新闻工作者,必须有清醒的认识,必须保持高度警觉,毫不留情地揭穿他们的骗局。

在这里,我还想说一下曾经风行一时,提出所谓“透明度”的问题。对这个问题要作具体分析。有些应该透明而且必须透明,有些不能马上透明,要到时机成熟才能透明,有些就是不能透明。有些事情,只限于一部分人员知道和掌握,并不意味着他们有什么特权,而是工作的需要,事业的需要。在军事方面、外交方面、政治方面、经济方面、科技方面等等,都有一些东西属于国家机密,不能见诸报纸、广播、电视。这在任何国家都是如此的。要求任何事情都透明,以为这样才是民主、自由,不是幼稚无知,就是别有用心。什么可以透明,什么不能透明,什么可以增加一点透明,都要以党的利益、国家利益、民族利益、人民利益为标准,要看是否有利于社会的稳定、政局的稳定、经济的稳定、人心的稳定。

五、新闻的真实性问题

新闻的真实性,就是要在新闻工作中坚持党的一切从实际出发、实事求是的思想路线。我们坦率地指出新闻工作的阶级性和党性原则,因为我们新闻工作的阶级性和党性同新闻的真实性是一致的。

社会主义作为人类历史上新生的社会制度,它在前进的道路上难免会遇到困难,遭受挫折,但是它能够克服任何困难,战胜任何曲折,不断向前发展,显示出不可战胜的生命力。通过建设和改革,我们的社会主义物质文明和精神文明会越来越发展,我们的社会主义制度会越来越完善,越来越显示出优越性。我们党和国家事业是蒸蒸日上的。这就要求新闻宣传从各个方面努力揭示这样一个基本事实。正如瑞环同志在讲话中所强调的,要以正面宣传为主。要满怀热情地宣传人民群众在实践中的新成就、新创造、新经验,让群众看到自己的智慧和力量,提高他们的社会主义积极性。要经常地反映群众的意见和要求。要保持各种民主渠道的畅通,不能堵塞言路。

现实生活是复杂的,要找几个事例来证明某个观点并不难。一叶障目,不见泰山,抓住一点,不及其余,尽管这一叶、这一点确实存在,但从总体上来看却背离了真实性。所以我们的新闻工作者要做到真实地反映生活,就要深入进行调查研究,不仅要做到所报道的单个事情的真实、准确,尤其要注意和善于从总体上、本质上以及发展趋势上去把握事物的真实性。要防止搜奇猎异,防止捕风捉影。要在保证真实、准确的前提下,讲求时效,

社会生活中有光明面,也有阴暗面。阴暗面的情况、性质也各不相同。对于企图颠覆我们社会主义共和国、推翻共产党领导的带有阶级斗争性质的问题,必须旗帜鲜明地予以揭露,目的是打击敌对势力;对于人民内部的缺点错误,也应进行揭露和批评,但这种揭露和批评是“恨铁不成钢”,目的是以同志式的态度帮助克服缺点、纠正错误。对于党和政府工作中的缺点、错误的批评,只要是善意的、有益于改进工作的,我们都应该热忱欢迎。重要的批评报道,要同有关的主管单位联系,听取他们的意见。批评报道发表以后,还要报道处理的结果,这也有利于提高报纸的威信。

六、党对新闻工作的领导问题

加强党对新闻工作的领导,主要是要抓好新闻宣传的政治方向,抓好新闻改革,抓好新闻工作的经验总结,抓好新闻队伍的建设、特别是领导班子的建设。当前要认真搞好清查清理工作,特别是要把领导班子和要害部门的干部情况考察清楚。领导权一定要牢牢掌握在马克思主义者手中。要团结绝大多数同志。

各级党委要经常研究讨论新闻工作。比如每一段时期的宣传方针、指导思想、报道重点、宣传效果等等,都应该在党委会上讨论。党委主要负责同志要亲自过问新闻宣传。要及时向新闻单位通报情况,下达任务,提出要求,并亲自审阅重要的社论、评论、新闻稿。对新闻单位在工作中遇到的困难,要十分关心,帮助解决。要和新闻单位的同志一道,研究如何不断提高新闻宣传的水平和效果,把报纸、广播、电视办得有吸引力、感染力,使读者、听众、观众爱读、爱听、爱看。

几十年来,党领导新闻事业,积累了丰富的经验,有着自己的优良传统和优良作风。我们要根据今天实际生活的变化情形,把这些好经验、好传统、好作风历史地继承和发扬下去。我们的新闻改革还面临许多新任务。改革的目的,正是为了使新闻更好地成为党、政府和人民的喉舌,更好地在社会主义现代化建设中发挥积极作用。我希望同志们正确审视国际国内的新形势,在实践中不断加强马克思主义理论学习和新闻业务学习,使我们的社会主义新闻事业越办越好。

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