Some Opinions concerning Deepening Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television Sector Reform

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(20 August 2001)

ZBF No. 2001(17)

Since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, and especially since the 14th Party Congress, the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors have held high the grand banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, have earnestly implemented the principles and policies determined by the Party Centre with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core, have closely grasped the correct orientation, have vigorously reformed, boldly explored, adjusted structures, reformed mechanisms, established collectives, fostered markets, raised quality, improved efficiency, the undertaking has developed rapidly, and strengths have clearly increased. Following our country’s entry into a relatively well-off society, the rapid growth of the popular masses’ spiritual and cultural requirements, following the preliminary establishment of the Socialist market economy system and the broad application of high and new technology in the media sphere, and following our country’s entry into the World Trade Organization and the further broadening of openness to the outside world, the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors face new circumstances, must grasp the opportune moment, deepen reform, accelerate development and vigorously complete the tasks entrusted to them by the Party and the State.

I, The guiding ideology, policies and principles of reform

1. In reform, we must hold high the grand banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, and with the important “Three Represents” thought as guidance, persist in basic Party line, persist in liberating thoughts, seeking truth from facts, and starting from reality in everything. In reform, we must fully consider our country’s national circumstances, fully consider the needs of constructing a spiritual civilization, respect the rules of the Socialist market economic system and the internal requirements of press, publications, radio, film and television sector development, learn from successful experiences of reform in the economic sphere and foreign beneficial methods, benefit giving rein to the vigour of press, publications, radio, film and television workers, benefit stimulating the flourishing and healthy development of the undertakings, benefit satisfying the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual life needs, serve the people, serve Socialism and serve the larger picture of the entire Party’s and the entire country’s work even better.

2. Reform must have development as the main theme, structural adjustment as the main line, further expand strength, strengthen vitality and raise competitiveness. We must be vigorous and active, increase strength, deepen innovation, and move forward steadily. Persist in putting social interest first and realizing the integration of economic interest and social interest; persist in stimulating structural adjustment and market integration, stimulating industrial optimization and upgrading, and expanding economies of scale by deepening reform. Transform adapting to a planned economic system to adapting to the Socialist market economy system, transform from scattered operations to economies of scale, transform from mainly targeting quantitative growth to mainly targeting qualitative improvement, march a development path of Socialist press, publications, radio, film and television sectors with Chinese characteristics.

3. In reform, we must persist in taking the Party nature as principle, unity, stability and encouragement, mainly propagating the positive side and closely grasping the correct orientation. Press, publications, radio, film and television sectors have both a common economic nature, and also have a special ideological nature, they are both mass media and the Party’s propaganda and ideology battleground, they involve national security and political stability, and have an important social responsibility. Regardless of under which conditions, their nature of mouthpiece of the Party and the people cannot change, the fact that the Party runs the media cannot change, the fact that the Party manages the cadres cannot change, and the correct public opinion guidance cannot change. We must ensure the leadership of the Party over the regulation and control of the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors, ensure macro-level control, persist in arming people with scientific theory, guiding the people with correct public opinion, moulding the people with noble spirits, encouraging the people with excellent work, letting the voice of the Party and the State enter into thousands of families and millions of homes, letting the voice of China enter into all places in the entire world.

II, The general requirements of reform and the basic overall picture.

4. Explore the establishment of macro-level management mechanisms ensuring Party leadership under new circumstances, with moderate regulation and control, orderly operations and stimulating development. At both the Central level and the provincial, autonomous region or municipal level of regulation and control, Party Committees unify leadership, relevant government department supervise and manage, sector management croups and localized management are mutually integrated, and controlling or sponsoring work units have clear responsibilities. Comprehensively utilize legal, economic, administrative and other means to implement macro-level regulation and control over orientations, quantities, distribution, structuring, quality and efficiency. Strengthen spiritual and cultural product production and circulation guidance, strengthen State-owned asset and funding supervision, strengthen cross-region and cross-sector operations management, strengthen information feedback. Strictly implement sector access and licensing systems, implement systemic management over production, broadcast, screening, market retail and other main segments.

5. Explore the establishment of micro-level operational mechanisms guaranteeing the correct orientation, which are rich in commercial vitality. Completing leading mechanisms integrating Party Committee leadership with legal person governance, organizational structures with mutually independent propaganda departments and commercial departments, and business management models adapted to market requirements, with powerful regulation and control strength. Fix eyes upon producing more excellent products and producing more talents, deepening internal reform, transforming commercial models, strengthen market operation, completing incentive mechanisms, shaping efficient capital accumulation, resource allocation and scale business, stimulating the rational allocation of production factors, expanding market development space and raising capital operation levels, strengthen self-development capacity.

6. Explore the establishment of policy and legal structures reflecting the characteristics of propaganda and culture, which are adapted to the general requirements of legal system construction. The constitution is the root, the laws are the main trunks, regulations, rules and policies are supplementary, coordinated and unified. Roll out a new laws and regulations, on the basis of the characteristics of the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors and the requirement of strengthening management, revise and abolish unsuitable regulations, timely transform relevant policies into laws and regulations through legal procedures. Grasp the formulation of laws and regulations stimulating reform and opening up, strengthening macro-level regulation and control, standardizing market order, protecting intellectual property rights and ethnic or folk cultural heritage, safeguarding citizens’ cultural rights, etc. Do legislative or regulatory revision work involving linking up with international norms well, learn from foreign legislative experience on protecting ethnic culture and social security, establish protective screens. Complete law enforcement and supervision mechanisms, strengthen law enforcement teams, raise law enforcement levels, where there is a law, it must be relied upon, law enforcement must be strict, lawbreakers must be punished.

7. Explore the establishment of a market environment disseminating healthy spiritual and cultural products, stimulating optimal resource allocation, which is competitive and orderly. Adjust market structures, complete market systems, standardize market order, stimulate interconnection and interchange. Expand main State-owned channel, give rein to the function of backbones, strengthen the influence and radiance over markets. Use modern market organization forms and sales methods, reduce circulation segments, perfect intermediary organizations, stimulate excellent product circulation, strive to shape effective mechanisms that are fair and competitive, let the fittest survive, and benefit excellent spiritual culture products to occupy the market.

8.  Explore the establishment of open structures to attract excellent foreign culture and advanced technology, resist degenerate culture, use both markets and two sorts of resources well. Persist in giving first place to ourselves and taking matters for our own use, determine quantities and distribution, and broaden openness in a targeted, gradual and selective manner. Vigorously implement the “marching out” strategy, strengthen foreign exchange, focus on prominent points, strive for real results. Select foreign famous media groups with standardized management, advanced technology, reliable credit, that are friendly to us, to engage in cooperation, attract advanced foreign technology, management experience and excellent works. Strive to establish a batch of important windows for foreign exchange, develop a batch of groups operating across countries having international competitiveness, vigorously support cultural products to enter into international markets, realistically work to let radio and television programme land abroad, let the world understand China even better.

III, The main line and focus points of reform

9. Push reform forward with structural adjustment as the main line. Control quantity, rationalize structures, activate stored assets, optimize resource allocation, develop intensive operations, shape economies of scale. According to the division of specialist labour and the requirements of scale operations, use methods such as unions, reorganizations and mergers to build a batch of large-scale groups with prominent core businesses, excellent brands and comprehensive strengths, promote reform in industry structures, product structures, organizational structures and regional structures, stimulate cross-region development and multimedia operation, raise industrial concentration levels.

10. Vigorously move grouping construction forward, make groups larger and stronger. On the basis of the existing trials, establish some large-scale newspaper sector groups, publishing groups, distribution groups, radio and television groups and film groups, those meeting condition may establish cross-regional and multimedia large news groups with permission. Groups bear the task of completing propaganda and culture work and State asset value preservation responsibilities, are responsible for grasping orientations, formulating plans, strengthen asset operations and property management. It is necessary to standardize the relationships of rights and obligations between group members with capital and business as the crux, and on the basis of defining property rights, to clarify asset operations responsibilities, mutually support each others’ superiorities, share resources, divide profit and jointly bear risks. It is necessary to earnestly conduct management structure reform and operational mechanism transformation, to strengthen group influence and competitiveness. After group establishment, they continue to enjoy existing preferential State policies for the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors, no new financial allocation will be instituted, personnel will be adjusted in the present personnel allocation.

Newspaper sector groups fall under the undertaking type, and may be respectively formed by Central and provincial-level Party newspapers and Party Committee organ newspapers of provincial capitals with considerable strength and plan-listed cities as drivers. Publishing groups fall under the undertaking type, and are established with Central and provincial-level publishers as the core, in Beijing, Shanghai and other regions, shape some publishing centres with complete functions, abundant resources, strong radiance and brands with clear superiorities. Distribution groups fall under the enterprise type, and are established with the General Xinhua Book Store and provincial-level Xinhua Book Stores meeting conditions at the core. State-owned book, newspaper and periodical printing enterprises meeting conditions may enter into newspaper sector, publishing and distribution groups. Radio and television groups belong to the undertaking type, and may be respectively established under the responsibility Central or provincial level radio and television departments, or those of provincial capital cities with considerable strength or plan-listed cities, other city (locality) levels do not independently establish groups. Groups must have radio stations, television stations, film production studios (companies), Internet sites and transmission network companies at the core, integrate into one the three branches of radio, film and television, merge the two platforms of cable and wireless, and interconnect the three levels of province, city and county. Film groups belong to the enterprise type. Three film bases are established in Beijing, Shanghai and Changchun. With China Film, Shanghai Film, Great Wall Film, Pearl River Film, Emei Film and Western Film as backbones, establish six large film groups. Film group may joint radio and television groups in a close manner or a loose manner. Establish a few large, competitive television drama production centres inside the Central Television Station and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and other localities. The reform of the 1 August Film Studio will be determined by the Liberation Army General Political Department.

11. Implement integrated multimedia operations. Radio and television groups may integrate operations of newspapers, books, audiovisual and electronic publications and film production. Film groups may produce radio and television programmes, and jointly run film channels with television stations. Newspaper sector groups, publishing groups and distribution groups are encouraged to implement strong linkages. The Xinhua Press Agency may operate newspaper and periodical publishers and publishing houses, for provision of television news, special case approval is required.

12. Implement cross regional operations. Publishing groups, distribution groups and film groups are encouraged to operate across regions, select the Central and some provincial-level newspaper sector groups and radio and television groups to engage in cross-regional operations. Cross-regional operations must be approved, mainly, the forms adopted are mergers and reorganization, cooperation and joint operation, etc., stress inner development, prevent duplicate construction. Groups implementing cross-regional business are responsible for the propaganda orientation and business orientation of their subordinate work units, accept the localized management of the relevant Party Committee and government organs of these localities, all localities Party Committee and government departments must provide good environments for cross-regional operations.

13. Open up secure and effective funding channels, raise capital operation efficiency. News media are operated by State sponsors, and do not attract foreign capital or private capital. On the basis of the requirements of undertaking development, the news and propaganda departments of newspaper sector groups, publishing groups and radio and television groups may obtain funding from press, publishing, radio, film or television departments with permission, their commercial departments (the printing and distribution of newspapers and periodicals, and the transmission networks of radio and television, etc.), may have the form of limited liability corporations or shareholding limited corporations with permission, with the group controlling the shares, and attract funding from State-owned large-scale enterprise and undertaking work units, but the investing side does not participate in propaganda business or operational management. Distribution groups may attract State-owned capital, non-State owned capital and foreign with permission, with the group controlling shares. Film groups, under the presupposition of ensuring that the group controls the shares, may with permission, attract State-owned capital, non-State owned capital, and may attract foreign capital for co-productions or reconstruction of cinemas. Large-scale groups may obtain export business rights with State approval. In the process of attracting capital and conducting shareholding reform, relevant State regulations must be earnestly implemented, asset appraisal work must be done well, State rights and interests must be realistically guaranteed, it is strictly prohibited to sell State-owned asset at low value or distribute them at no cost to individuals using shareholding or other methods. Concrete rules for funding will be formulated by SARFT and the General Administration of Press and Publications according to State regulations in consultation with relevant departments. Other undertaking and enterprise work units, without exception, implement existing regulations and may not expand funding channels without authorization.

14. Strengthen market integration. With groups as drivers, vigorously establish book, newspaper, periodical and audiovisual product chain retail systems and logistics distribution systems, develop online retail systems and cinema distribution and screening systems. Perfect newspaper and periodical distribution and agency systems, improve newspapers and periodicals’ self-operated distribution, complete distribution networks integrating newspapers and the post. Establish some nationwide or regional-scale publications, film, television drama, copyright, advertising and other wholesale and trade centres in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Sichuan and other localities. Vigorously establish logistics and distribution centres integrating agency, purchasing, storage, shipping and accounting functions into one. Vigorously develop small and mid-size city markets and rural markets, explore joint mechanisms benefiting resource participation from all sides, progressively shape integrated and interconnected distribution and transmission networks for books, newspapers, periodicals, films, television and audiovisual products.

15. Use high and new technology, promote industrial upgrading,. Formulate digitization and networking development pans, use high and new technology to renew and transform basic infrastructure and technological equipment, accelerate the upgrading and renewal of editing, production, broadcast and transmission. Give high regard to the merging of traditional media with the Internet and cable television networks. Open up the use of interactive television, digital film, electronic books and periodicals and other technologies, raise innovative capacity, expand business spheres, broaden market share.

16. Strengthen news website construction. According to the requirements of vigorous development, full use, strengthening management, letting the good prosper and removing the old, raise effectiveness, expand coverage, strengthen attractiveness, and let news websites become new battlegrounds for ideological and political work and new channels for foreign propaganda, propagate scientific theories, disseminate advanced culture, mould noble spirits, carry forward the correct social trends, guide scientific spirits. Earnestly implement the National People’s Congress Standing Committee “Decision concerning Safeguarding Internet Security”, the State council “Internet Information Service Management Rules”, the Central Propaganda Department and Central Foreign Propaganda Office “Opinions concerning International Internet News and Propaganda Work”, the State Council Information Office and Ministry of Information Industry “Provisional Regulations on the Management of Internet Sites Engaging in News Publishing Business” and the “Internet Electronic Advertising Service Management Regulations”. Unify plans, specialize management, straiten examination and approval, concentrate forces to run focus news websites well, persist in preventing duplicate construction. Press websites may accept funding from inside the press and publications system, and when necessary, may attract share participation of large State-owned enterprises, they do not attract private capital and foreign capital and will not go on the market for the moment.

17. Implement comprehensive governance, persist in dealing with fragmentation and excessiveness. Utilizing the line of thinking and methods of reform to optimize compositions, raise quality and improve efficiency. Promote city (region) and county (city) radio and television broadcast organs to transform functions, develop the specialization of channels and frequencies, accelerate the effective integration of radio and television transmission networks. Adjust newspaper and periodical categories and distribution, develop scientific, technology and medical periodicals, clean up social, cultural and life-type periodicals, compress quantities. Strictly implement warning systems for newspapers and periodicals violating regulations or violating discipline, impose time-limited rectification on newspapers and periodicals with improper operations and ideologies, vulgar styles, that create bad influences. Determinedly cancel newspapers and periodicals with grave orientation problems, where controlling and sponsoring work units do not carry out their responsibilities. Realistically implement warning systems for radio and television broadcasting organs violating regulations or violating discipline. Implementing license and qualification accreditation systems for cultural offices, free producers and other social cultural work units and operators, concrete rules are formulated by administrative controlling authorities.

18. Deepen internal reform, complete management systems. Accelerate human resource system and labour system reform, implement whole-personnel appointment systems and labour contract systems, clarify position duties and responsibilities, quantify standards, asses achievements, ensure that it is possible to be promoted and demoted, to be appointed and dismissed. Reform allocation systems, stress real achievements and stress contributions, integrate with social interest and economic interest, tilt matters towards excellent talents and key positions. Establish asset operation responsibility systems, clarify value-added objectives, activate State-owned assets. Strengthen asset management and cost management, establish financial accounting centres, implement uniform financial management and uniform financial personnel appointment. Under the presupposition of persisting in concentrated financial management, implement two levels of independent work unit accounting, strengthen effective supervision. Give high regard to the management, protection and rational use of intangible assets.

19. Strengthen team construction. Stress specialized talent fostering, do on-the-job personnel training well, shape good environments benefiting excellent talents to come to the fore. Vigorously attract operations management and high technology talents, accelerate the fostering of talents well acquainted with propaganda tasks and grasping international rules. All levels’ leading cadres must strengthen study, raise their quality, strive to ensure that they are strong in politics, excellent in work, strict in discipline, understand operations and are good at management.

20. Further support the reform and the development of the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors in the Western regions and ethnic minority regions. Expand State input, organize targeted support, encourage mutually beneficial cooperation, start from local realities, assist in opening up resources and markets, shape self-development and self-accumulation mechanisms, march the path of intensified and internal development. With doing radio coverage and trial work in Tibet, Xinjiang and other border provinces and regions as focus point, muster the necessary resources, personnel and technological forces, strengthen Western region radio and television construction, raise coverage capacity, enable the absolute majority of masses in the Western region to clearly listen to or watch Central and provincial or regional radio and television systems, resist foreign harmful broadcasts. Fully use ethnic minority publishing funds well, assist in fostering technology, business and management talents.

IV, The organizational leadership of reform

21. It is necessary to strengthen the Party’s leadership over the press, publications, radio, film and television sectors, completely grasp policymaking powers over major matters and large matters, control powers over asset distribution, examination and verification powers over propaganda work, and appointment or dismissal powers over main leading cadres. Party committee propaganda departments must grasp leadership, plan matters comprehensively, lead in a categorized manner and organize implementation. Press, publications, radio, film and television groups are led by Central and provincial, autonomous region or municipal Party Committee propaganda departments, relevant administrative government departments implement sector management. Inside groups, a Publishing Committee (Administrative Committee, Editorial Committee) responsibility system under the leadership Party Committee (Party Group) is implemented, Party Committee (Party Group) secretaries simultaneously hold the position of Publishing Committee (Administrative Committee, Editorial Committee) chair. The appointment or dismissal of main responsible persons in groups must be approved by the same level’s Party Committee Propaganda Department, and are reported according to cadre management powers. Enterprises implementing company structure reform according to State regulations may establish executive boards and supervisory boards exclusive to the enterprise. Board chairs positions are held by Party Committee secretaries. Supervisory boards implement supervision over the implementation of Party and State principles and policies, propaganda orientations and business situations, supervisory board members are determined by the Party Committee Propaganda Department in consultation with the organization department and the administrative controlling department, and are installed according to the law. Administrative controlling departments shall separate functions from groups, government and enterprise are separate, with each having responsibilities.

22. Unify deepening reform and strengthening management, adapt the force of reform with the degree of perfection of macro-level management. Correctly deal with the relationship between the special nature and the common nature, the relationship between deepening reform and adjusting structures, the relationship between expanding strength and moving steadily ahead, it is both necessary to strengthen micro-level organizational competitiveness, and to guarantee the control power of macro-level management, it is necessary to both let live, and to control closely. In establishment of groups, it is necessary to strive to move structural reform and mechanism transformation forward, prevent groups that are knocked together and are unable to deliver promises. In cross-regional development, it is important to respect local Party Committee leadership departments. Multimedia joint operations cannot be messily setting up stalls or engaging in duplicate construction. In funding, it is necessary to ensure the dominant position of groups’ State-owned capital, and prevent social capital and foreign capital influencing public opinion guidance and commercial orientations. In openness to the outside world, it is necessary to strengthen uniform management and sector coordination, coordination with foreign affairs departments and foreign trade departments in major and large matters, and prevent many heads looking outward. In capital operation and asset operations, it is necessary to serve the magnificent main undertaking. We must understand markets, face markets and win markets, but we cannot simply push towards markets. In winning over markets, we must persist in the correct orientation.

24. Straiten work discipline, straiten reporting for approval procedures. Establishment of newspaper sector groups, publishing groups, distribution groups and large-scale press groups, after agreement of the local Party Committee and Government, must be reported for approval to the Central Propaganda Department and the General Administration of Press and Publications. Radio and television groups and film groups, after agreement of the local Party Committee and government, must be reported to the Central Propaganda Department and SARFT for approval. Implementation of  cross-media and cross-sector merger activities and fundraising (including going on the stock market), after reporting to and approval of the Central Propaganda Department and the State Council controlling department, is to be reported for approval according to regulatory procedure. SARFT and the General Administration of Press and Publications formulate corresponding implementation regulations based on this Document.





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