In order to deeply implement the spirit of the 16th Party Congress, accelerate reform and development of the radio, film and television industry, according to the general requirements of the Centre concerning deepening culture structural reform, integrating the reality of radio, film and television work, the following opinions are hereby raised to stimulate radio, film and television industry development.
I, The present circumstances faced by radio, film and television industry development
In the 50 years since the founding of the New China, and especially since reform and opening up, our country’s radio, film and television have followed the rise of the national economic development, scientific progress and people’s living standards, have obtained remarkable achievements, have gained considerable development, and an industrial development base with corresponding scope and full of desirability has been shaped. At present, our country has more than 1900 radio and television stations, running in total more than 1800 radio programmes and more than 2200 television programmes; has close to 70 film production work units, producing more than 100 feature films per year; has close to 900 radio, film and television programme production operation organs, more than 300 television drama production organs, producing more than 10000 episodes of more than 1000 television dramas per year. A nationwide radio an television network with many technologies such as cable, wireless and satellite, many levels and composite coverage has been basically constructed, radio and television population comprehensive covering levels already respectively reach 93,34% and 94,61%, of which cable television networks already reach close to 4.000.000 kilometres, cable television users exceed 100.000.000; nationwide, there are more than 6000 cinemas, and 35 film screening chains within and across regions have been set up. From the point of view of radio, film and television programme production amounts, overall technology level and scope as well as the actually covered population, our country has already become a large radio, film and television country. At the same time, radio, film and television undertakings have accompanied development, vigorous exploration has also been conducted in radio, film and television industrial operations, achieving remarkable achievements. In 1982, the total nationwide radio, film and television system income was 983.000.000 Yuan, basically resorting under financial allocation, by 2002, the total nationwide radio, film and television system income reached 51.400.000.000 Yuan, of which advertising income exceeded 28.000.000.000 Yuan, and financial allocation 7.584.000.000, financial allocation only comprising 14,75% of the total. Radio and television has transformed from mainly relying on financial allocation into having operational income as the core and financial allocations as income, radio, film and television industry functions and desirable exploitation prospects are increasingly revealed.
It must be noted, that at present, although our countries radio, film and television industry development has desirable bases and conditions, prominent difficulties and problems still exist. These mainly manifest in: first, looking from the totality, our country’s radio, film and television industry still only is at the preliminary stage of starting and exploration, industrial development is quite incomplete, economic amount scales are relatively small, strength compared with developed countries is weak, competition is not strong, radio, film and television product imports largely exceed exports. Second, since a long time, our countries radio, film and television implemented a planned undertaking type as main structure, not differentiating between commercial industries and public interest-type undertakings, radio, film and television were set up according to administrative areas, with grave separation of departments and regions, which is quite unsuited to the development requirements of reform and opening up and the socialist market economy, does not conform with the characteristics and rules of the radio, film and television industry itself, gravely influences and restricts radio, film and television industry development. The problem of radio, film and television structures and mechanisms has become a main obstacle for radio, film and television industry development. Third, radio, film and television industry development is not balanced. Differences between the Eastern region, Central Region and Western Region, developed areas and undeveloped areas, cities and the countryside are very big. Eastern developed regions and urban industry development is relatively good, results are also relatively clear, Western undeveloped areas and the countryside are relatively lacking. Radio, film and television industry internal television and radio and film development are not balanced, radio, film and television and network development is also not balanced. Television is relatively strong, growth relatively quick, and it has become the beginning and pillar of the overall radio, film and television industry, radio and film are correspondingly weak, and not a few difficulties exist; network construction is relatively quick, but professional exploitation is insufficient, and new economic growth points for the overall economy have not been shaped, not a few network companies still face losses. Fourth, radio, film and television industrial policies, laws and regulations are not yet perfect. The presently existing policies, laws and regulations are only adapted to the requirements of a planned economic system, considering more how to handle undertakings, and considering industrial development relatively little, especially the question of industrial development under conditions of a socialist market economy.
At present, our country has entered in the new stage of completely constructing a relatively well-off society, accelerating reform and opening up, and socialist modernization construction. The new circumstances of this new phase have put forward new requirements for radio, film and television industry development. The radio, film and television industry is an important component part of the cultural industries. The 16th Party Congress clearly put forward the necessity to vigorously develop the cultural industries, and that strengthening development of the cultural industry is an important path for making socialist culture flourish under market economic conditions and satisfying the popular masses’ spiritual culture needs. The development of the socialist market economy and the deepening of economic structural reform, the adjustment of national economic systems, urgently require reform of the cultural industries, including the radio, film and television industry to adapt to them, developing the cultural industries has already become a major strategic task for national economic restructuring. The daily increasing spiritual culture needs of the popular masses in a relatively well-off society have also put forward even higher requirements of radio, film and television industry development. At the global level, the swift and violent development of high technology requires acceleration the pace of radio, film and television digitalization and networking, and speedy realization of a new round of industry optimization and upgrading. Especially given accession to the World Trade Organization and expansion of opening up to the outside, our country will participate in economic globalization, and participate in international competition in an even larger scope and to an even deeper level, at present, film and audiovisuals have opened up to the outside partly and in a limited way, large-scale foreign media groups already can enter in some of our areas under conditions. Foreign cultural products, cultural capital and cultural value systems gushing in, has brought severe challenges for our country’s radio, film and television industry development. We must deeply analyze and correctly grasp the new circumstances facing radio, film and television industry development, fully recognize the extreme importance, necessity and urgency of the developing the radio, film and television industry under new circumstances, liberate thoughts, reform and innovate, boldly forge ahead, closely grasp opportunities, vigorously meet the challenges, endeavour to dissolve unfavourable factors, realistically resolving all sorts of contradictions and problems, forcefully move even quicker and even better radio, film and television industry development forward, strive to strengthen and expand our country’s radio, film and television industry in a relatively short time.
II, Guiding ideology and basic thinking for developing the radio, film and television industry
A new century and a new phase, the general guiding ideology for radio, film and television industry development is: raising high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, deeply implementing the important “Three Represents” thought and the spirit of the 16th Party Congress, according to the requirements of socialist spiritual culture construction and socialist market economy development, according to the characteristics and rules of the radio, film and television industry, taking development as the core, taking structural reform as driver, taking restructuring as main line, taking scientific and economic innovation as support, taking management according to the law as guarantee, taking strengthening vitality, expanding strength and raising competition, making advanced socialist culture flourish and develop, satisfying the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual cultural life needs as goals, comprehensively planning and coordinating the Centre and the localities, the Eastern region and the Western region, cities and the countryside, domestic and foreign, radio, film, television and the network, completely moving radio, film and television industry development forward, progressively shaping an industrial setup with corresponding complete structures, increasingly reasonable structural distribution, advanced comprehensive technological level, clear market leading functions, with State-owned at the core, jointly developing with many kinds of economic sectors, striving to realize complete radio, film and television industry coordination, and continuous healthy development, making the radio, film and television industry into an economic growth point for the national economy under new circumstances, and into an important production base for our country’s spiritual culture products.
Basic principles of radio, film and television industry development:
First, it is necessary to persist in the correct orientation. Radio, film and television products have ideological properties, and most completely persist in the orientation of serving the people and serving socialism, persist in the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, carrying forward the main melody, advocating diversification, energetically developing advanced culture, supporting healthy and beneficial culture, striving to transform backward culture, persisting in resisting degenerate culture. Regardless of whether it concerns radio, film and television product production enterprises or service enterprises, they must all persist in placing social interest first, and strive to realize the unification of social interest and economic interest.
Second, it is necessary to persist in facing the market. Facing the market means that it is necessary to, simultaneously with strengthening macroeconomic management, fully give rein to the basic function of market mechanisms in industrial resource allocation, through market means optimizing resource allocation, adjusting structural deployment, regulating profit distribution, stimulating the development of virtuous cycles in the industry. Facing the market is facing the popular masses, and everything must take being accepted or not accepted by, and satisfying or not accepting the popular masses, namely the consumers, completely make the requirement of satisfying consumers, providing high quality products and services to consumers into starting points and stopover points.
Third, it is necessary to persist in reform and innovation. The radio, film and television industry must accelerate development, must liberate thoughts, renew ideas, further deepen structural and mechanism reform and innovation. It is necessary to persist in determinedly breaking all thoughts and ideas obstructing development, persisting in transforming all methods and regulations fettering development, persisting in abolishing all systems and malpractices influencing development. It is necessary to persist in making reform and innovation into the basic driver and only channel for industry development, reforming and innovating on the basis of development, and seeking development with reform and innovation.
Fourth, it is necessary to persist in State ownership at the core, developing jointly with many kinds of economic sectors. Persisting in State ownership at the core, fully giving reign to the beginning, demonstration and leading functions of the State-owned economy in the market, benefiting persisting in and consolidating the Party’s leading position in the ideological sphere, guaranteeing that the radio, film and television industry completely persists in the progressing direction of advanced socialist culture, spurring and stimulating the complete radio, film and television industry’s healthy development. Persisting in developing jointly with many kinds of economic sectors, benefiting fully attracting and utilizing social resources to develop the radio, film and television industry, shaping a market environment with many subjects and healthy competition that is open and orderly, promoting market flourishing and industrial expansion. It is necessary to vigorously move the radio, film and television industry-area public ownership system’s many kinds of effective realizations and forms forward, forcefully develop and vigorously guide radio, film and television industry-area non-public ownership system economy, all laws and regulations must allow non-public capital to enter or participate in areas not prohibited by laws and regulations.
Basic thinking and focal points for radio, film and television industry development
First, it is necessary to strengthen and optimize the industry. Radio, film and television are comprehensive industries mainly providing content products and services. Television is its beginning and mainstay. At present, the superiority and potential of television has not been given full rein by far, it must be further strengthened. Firstly, it is necessary to continuously maintain the present continuous growth of television industry operations, especially the advertising sector. Secondly, it is necessary to as soon as possible realize the transformation of television industry operations, change the past business model of and profit method of purely relying on advertising, vigorously developing paid television, making it become another important income source for television industry operation. Thirdly, it is necessary to vigorously expand television programme operations and resource development. It is necessary to face the masses, face the market, face foreign expansion of television drama and television programme sales, expand programme sales income. It is necessary to adapt to the tendency of comprehensive multimedia development, aim at the characteristics of radio, film and television, conduct multiple developments and multiple utilizations of many kinds of media such as television, radio, film, audiovisuals, newspapers, periodicals, publications, etc. with television as the beginning of operational resources.
Second, it is necessary to promote weak industries. This mainly refers to radio, film, cartoons, etc., they once obtained brilliant achievements, now they are overall in a correspondingly weak position, and must be forcefully promoted. Radio must according to its own characteristics and development tendency, according to industry rules, realistically expand industrial operation and especially advertising operation strength, vigorously develop the radio-related product market, further strengthen industry vitality, expand, industry operation income, as soon as possible raise the overall industrial model and effectiveness. Film must accelerate industrialization and transformation steps, taking strengthening film creation as basis and core, develop film products through many channels, many levels and many varieties, completely enliven the market, shape comprehensive effectiveness, change the past ling-time situation of purely relying on cinema box office income, genuinely establish relatively complete industry chains conform to the present film industry development rules. It is necessary to utilize capital operation rules to attract capital from all aspects to establish film companies with share-holding systems and film companies going on the market, producing “Grand Domestic Films”, and with this spurring and stimulating domestic film flourishing. It is necessary to maintain and develop domestic films’ guiding position in the domestic film consumption market and at the same time vigorously expand international markets, incessantly expand the portion of the international market, strive to obtain desirable economic benefits. It is necessary to accelerate moving forward of domestic cartoon sector promotion, renew creation concepts, fully draw in market mechanisms, strengthen market operation, establish perfect industry structures and setups, expand cartoon production scale, shape industry brands, progressively change the “Foreign Strong, We Weak” situation of the domestic cartoon market, and at the same time as capturing the domestic market, vigorously infiltrate international markets and participate in international competition.
Third, it is necessary to develop burgeoning industries. The rapid development of digital technology and network technology has made radio, film and television networks become an extremely important burgeoning industry providing content services. Radio, film and television networks must, under the presupposition of guaranteeing transmission of basic radio, film and television public programmes, forcefully develop new network operations and markets, and provide new services. It is necessary to forcefully develop digital television, popularize digital set-top boxes, vigorously provide paid television, on-demand channels, data broadcast, Internet access, network gaming, electronic government affairs, electronic commerce, distance medicine, distance learning as well as other network services on-line, promote the rapid expansion and extension of the network industry, making the network industry develop as soon as possible and become a new economic growth point for radio, film and television.
Fourth, it is necessary to transform traditional industries. Following technological progress and market changes, a number of past radio, film and television operations and industries are no longer adapted to development, and adjustment and transformation must be conducted. The present market demand for news-recording film production is largely less than before, and needs to be transformed and changed, at the same time as maintaining a number of necessary services, production and operation of relevant film and television programmes may be developed, and especially forceful development of television documentaries is permitted. With film production technology development and especially the arrival digital film, film tape demand becomes less and less, and may even withdraw for the market, the film printing sector faces the task of transformation, and must vigorously prepare. Radio, film and television-type periodicals and books have since a long time been established as undertakings, particularly stressing their propaganda function, which is no longer adapted to industrialization and development. It is necessary to transform systems, face the masses and face the market, vigorously develop industrial functioning, shaping new publishing industries.
Fifth, it is necessary to pay high attention to high and new industries. It is necessary to vigorously follow the most recent development tendencies of radio, film and television science and technologies, and markets, forcefully develop high and new technologies having importance in future radio, film and television industry development. Radio, film and television direct satellite broadcast is the development tendency of satellite radio, film and television, and has already seen widespread application abroad, our country has also already conducted successful experiments, and it is another service industry having desirable development prospects after cable television networks. Apart from this, there are also mobile telephone radio, mobile telephone television, HD television, etc. These new media, new industries and new operations, although perhaps not having clear economic benefits in the short term, must certainly be given high regard, grasping the initiative, racing to control the decisive occasion, as early as possible foster, explore and occupy the market.
III, Corresponding steps for developing the radio, film and television industry
1, Deepening structural and mechanism reform, fostering and developing market subjects
First, differentiating public service radio, film and television undertakings and commercial industries, facing the market, according to the requirements of the modern property rights system and modern enterprise system, deepening commercial industrial structural and mechanism reform. Radio and television must separate permitted commercial assets, resources and operations from the present undertaking system, facing the market in conducting enterprise transformation and grouping, to be managed and operated separately from the undertaking parts. Concretely, it is permitted to progressively separate radio stations, television stations, radio and television groups (comprehensive stations) social service and mass entertainment programmes with the exception of news and propaganda, and especially the production and operation of television dramas, according to the direction of industrial development and the requirements of the modern property rights system and modern enterprise system, grouping companies, implementing the separation of property rights and operating rights, operating by oneself, assuming sole responsibility for profits and losses, paying taxed according to the law. Channels and frequencies with relatively good industrial operation prospects and having conditions for commercialized operation such as sports, traffic, film and television, comprehensive arts, music, life, finance and economics, educations, etc., under the presupposition of ensuring that channels and frequencies are exclusive State assets that may not be sold, guaranteeing the final examination rights of programmes and firmly grasping broadcasting rights in the hands of radio stations and television stations, it is permitted to group companies with approval, explore conducting commercialized operation of channels and frequencies. In film, it is necessary to accelerate the realization of the overall transformation from a planned undertaking model to an industrial commercialized model, strictly according to the requirements of the modern enterprise system, establish and perfect company legal person governance structures, remoulding market subjects, accelerating the pace of facing the market, further enliven operations.
Second, fully utilizing market mechanisms, optimizing resource allocation, adjusting structural distribution, raising industry concentration, moving forward industry intensification and upscaling development. It is necessary to put forth effort to forge a batch of large-scale radio, film and television industry group companies having solid strength, outstanding work and strong core competitiveness through resource integration and structural adjustment, to act as industrial backbone drivers for the overall radio, film and television industry advance and development. It is necessary to take assets and work as links, integrate commercial radio and television resources, move forward radio and television commercial assets’ regional integration and interregional operation, foster and develop radio and television industry group companies. Radio and Television group companies are the operational entities for radio and television groups (general stations) or radio and television stations, and mainly engage in specialization, upscaling, and intensification production and operation of radio and television programmes and television dramas. It is necessary to further move forward film group development, encourage film groups to further expand scale and strengthen power through merging, uniting, reorganizing and integrating film enterprises, and at the same time expand and move forward construction interregional-scale cinema chains (screening groups). It is necessary to accelerate the integration of radio and television transmission networks, establish nationwide and provincial (regional, municipal) radio and television transmission network companies, shaping a new radio and television network development setup with shared resources, shared benefits, linking up high and low, uniformly operated.
2, Expanding financial input channels, broadening market access
Progressively expanding radio, film and television market development strength, progressively broadening market access, attracting and encouraging all sorts of domestic and foreign capital to broadly participate in radio, film and television industry development, incessantly raise the socialization degree of the radio, film and television industry. Permitting all sorts or ownership system organs acting as operational subjects to enter the radio and television programme production sector apart from news and propaganda, permitting foreign strong and influential film and television production organs, and domestic State-owned television programme production work units to pool capital and set up a programme production company controlled by the Chinese side. Radio and television stations, and radio and television groups (general stations) conducting internal reorganization or transferring into enterprises, under the presupposition of guaranteeing share control, may attract domestic social capital and explore conducting shareholding system reform, radio and television programme (including television drama) production and operational enterprises with mature conditions may with approval go on the financial markets. Paid television development shall have central, provincial, provincial capital and plan-listed market radio, film and television broadcast organ at the core, radio, film and television organs conforming to conditions, State-owned organs having programme content resources monopolies and superiority and other organs conforming to conditions are permitted to participate in and establish companies, and conduct marketized operations. Encouraging domestic social capital to invest in shooting films, distributing and selling domestic films, go into cinema chains or by themselves establishing cinema chains and rebuilding cinemas. Foreign production organs are permitted to establish film production companies with domestic State-owned film production work units controlled by the Chinese side. Foreign companies are permitted to establish cinema chain companies or transform companies in the joint venture method, where the foreign participation may reach 75%. Radio and television transmission network companies, under the presupposition of the radio, film and television system having priority investment rights, and guaranteeing share control and possessing real control rights over commercial management, may attract domestic social capital.
3, Relying on high and new technology, stimulating industrial upgrading
Radio, film and television industry development must closely depend on scientific and technological progress, vigorously utilize high and new technologies, liberate and develop productivity, expand industrial development space and service areas, raise industrial competition. It is necessary to take digitalization and networking as focal points, completely move forward the upgrading and updating of the radio, film and television industry from analogue to digital. Firstly, it is necessary to completely implement radio and television programme production digitalization; secondly, it is necessary to accelerate cable television network digitalization progress, striving to achieve that in the Eastern developed region and the Central region, local and city-level or higher cities as well as provincial capital cities and localities and cities meeting conditions in the Western region realize comprehensive transformation into digital television by the end of 2005, and that the digital cable television user number reaches 30.000.000 households; thirdly it is necessary to forcefully move forward digital film production and digital cinema construction, expand digital film production industrialization demonstration project and programme achievements, establish digital film production bases and digital film screening cinemas with a certain scale and having advanced world levels, vigorously move forward rural, town and community digitalized film screening; fourthly, it is necessary to vigorously promote the development and application of direct radio and television satellite and terrestrial digital television, striving to begin providing direct satellite services in 2005, and taking the 2008 Beijing Olympics as turning juncture, forcefully extend mobile digital television services and high-definition television services.
4, Vigorously implement the “Marching Out” projects, seeing internationalized development
It is necessary to adapt to the tendency of expanding opening up to the outside and internationalized development, vigorously march out to participate in international competition. For the radio, film and television industry to march out, it is necessary to strengthen market operation, forcefully develop sales organs and networks abroad, strive to push radio, film and television products where we have competitive strengths on to international markets, strive to expand our radio, film and television products’ share on the international market, expand and strengthen a batch of foreign industry brands having influence and strength. It is necessary to strengthen research into international markets, divide regions and divide programmes, implement “Marching Out” project in a focused and purposeful manner. Radio and television must further expand landing coverage and programme sales abroad, and at the same time vigorously encourage central, provincial focus city radio and television organs meeting conditions to set up radio and television stations abroad by themselves or in cooperation. Film must further expand Sino-foreign cooperation in film shooting inside our borders, and must at the same time march out and choose a number of well-known foreign film organs with standardized management, advanced technology and friendly to us to conduct cooperation, making our country’s films enter into international markets even more.
5, Establishing and perfecting laws and regulations, strengthening government supervision.
Accelerating legal system construction, as soon as possible establishing and completing radio, film and television industry laws, regulations and policy systems, safeguarding market order, guaranteeing the radio, film and television industry’s healthy development. It is necessary to grasp revision and supplementing of present administrative radio, film and television regulations not suited to industrial development on the bases of the new circumstances and new problems faced by our country’s radio, film and television industry, grasp appearance of a number of policy opinions and steps stimulating radio, film and television industry development, and timely make relevant policy steps into laws and regulations through legal procedures. It is necessary to promote drafting, promulgation and implementation of important laws such as the “Radio, Film and Television Transmission Guarantee Law”, “Radio and Television Law” and the “Film Law”, etc.
Transforming the function of government, realistically strengthening government supervision. Radio, film and television industry development must progressively implement separation of management and work, separation of government and enterprise, separation of government and business, radio, film and television controlling authorities must administer according to the law, genuinely transform the industry’s administrative function into propaganda regulation and control, policy adjustment, market supervision, social management and public services. It is necessary to put forth effort to grasp the following work: firstly, it is necessary to strengthen macroeconomic regulation. It is necessary to further perfect policy and regulatory system for the industry’s macroeconomic regulation, vigorously use many kinds of methods such as economic, legal, administrative, etc., to strengthen macroeconomic regulation. It is necessary to continuously do well film, television drama and cartoon theme planning, earnestly implement import and broadcast management regulations of foreign films, television dramas and cartoons, earnestly develop radio and television broadcast organs, film, television drama and radio, film and television programme production organ annual inspection and examination work. Secondly, it is necessary to strengthen market construction and supervision. Accelerating radio, film and television product market and production factor market construction, developing market intermediary organizations, making product circulation and trade flourish, put forth effort to finish building a nationwide radio, film and television programme trade centre, focusing on organizing the China Radio, Film and Television Fair and corresponding radio, film and television festivals. It is necessary to straiten market access systems, strictly implement film and television drama production, distribution, screening and network company transmission of radio, film and television programmes examination and permit systems, establish major programme production examination systems, implement radio, film and television programme producer, television drama producer work licensing systems. Thirdly, it is necessary to further improve government awards. Government awards must integrate with the market, must benefit promotion of excellent radio, film and television products to enter the market, and occupy the market, benefit guiding the market, promoting market flourishing and industrial development.
6, Strengthening industrial support and talent training
Earnestly implementing all present State economic preferential policies supporting radio, film and television industry development, at the same time, vigorously striving for the support of relevant entities, successively rolling out a batch of new economic support policies. It is necessary to guarantee a certain amount of government investment, granting financial subsidies and support in aspects such as credit information, etc. to focus industries and focus programmes relating to radio, film and television industry overall development, having major strategic significance and leading to a key function, including radio, film and television “Marching Out” projects, cable television network digitalization, rural film, scientific education films and film science and technology development, cartoon production base construction, etc. Realistically strengthening industry talent training plans, in a planned and organized way developing talent training work, striving to construct high-level talent teams suited for radio, film and television industry development requirements. It is necessary to focus on strengthening all sorts of talent training required urgently in the radio, film and television industry such as radio, film and television high-level operation management talents and scientific, technological and creative talents, etc., regularly and without schedule organizing radio, film and television enterprise (groups) high-level operation management personnel and expert backbones to conduct all sorts of training and study, creating conditions for training and fostering radio, film and television industry-area excellent entrepreneurs and all levels and all sorts of excellent talents.