Notice concerning Requirements for Realistically Strengthening and Improving Radio and Television Public Opinion Supervision Work

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SARFT Issue of the Notice concerning Requirements for Realistically Strengthening and Improving Radio and Television Public Opinion Supervision Work

10 May 2005

In order to implement the CCP Central Committee Secretariat “Opinions concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Public Opinion Supervision” and the Central Propaganda Department “Implementation Rules to Strengthen and Improve Public Opinion Supervision Work”, the SARFT Party Group has researched and formulated the “Requirements Concerning Realistically Strengthening and Improving Radio and Television Public Opinion Supervision Work”. These are hereby issued to you, please implement them.

Requirements Concerning  Realistically Strengthening and Improving Radio and Television Public Opinion Supervision Work

The CCP Central Committee Secretariat “Opinions concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Public Opinion Supervision” (hereafter simply named “Opinions” and the Central Propaganda Department “Implementation Rules to Strengthen and Improve Public Opinion Supervision Work” (hereafter simply named “Implementation Rules” are an important step in further strengthening and improving public opinion supervision work in a new period and a new phase, they have a strong leading nature, focus, normative and operative nature. Earnestly implementing the CCS “Opinions” and the CPD “Implementation Rules” has an extremely important meaning for guaranteeing that the radio and television public opinion supervision programmes’ orientation is correct, completely raising radio and television news editing team quality and strengthening the credibility and influence of radio and television. Hereby, the following requirements to implement the CCS “Opinions” and the CPD “Implementation Rules” are put forward:

I, We must earnestly study documents and raise ideological understanding.

All levels’ radio, film and television management departments and broadcast organs must, from the height of implementing the important “Three Represents” thought and the spirit of the 16th Party Congress, and from the height of persisting in the scientific development view, building  a Socialist harmonious society, developing Socialist democracy, completing the Socialist legal system and closely linking the Party and the government with the popular masses, and safeguarding the good image of the Party and the government, fully understand and strengthen the sense of importance of radio and television public opinion supervision work under new circumstances. We must organize studying of documents, deeply understand their  spirit, strictly abide by regulations, and integrate implementing the CCS “Opinions” and the CPD “Implementation rules” with implementing the “Newsgathering Personnel Employment Management Regulations (Trial)”, the “Radio, Film and Television Newsgathering Personnel Employment Management Implementation Plans (Trial)”, as well as with the “Radio and Television Professional Editorial and Journalistic Ethics Standards” and the “Radio and Television Professional Broadcaster and Presenter Ethics Standards, integrate them with the present education campaign to preserve the advanced nature of Communist Party members launched in the entire party and deepening the “Three Study and Learning” activities, to even better implement the important duties and missions of radio and television newsgathering personnel.

II, We must grasp important principles and strive to improve work

All levels’ radio and television organs must correctly launch public opinion supervision work, dare to supervise, be good in supervision, strengthen supervision and improve supervision. Public opinion supervision work must persist in the principle of the Party spirit, persist in seeking truth from facts, persist in serving the people, serving socialism and serving the larger picture of Party and State work, closely grasp the correct public opinion orientation. We must serve the larger picture, persist in combining being responsible towards the Party and being responsible towards the people, fix eyes upon improving work, grasping problems that the masses care for, the government give high regard and that have a widespread meaning, stimulate reform and development, safeguard the basic interest of the popular masses. We must have correct facts, investigate and research deeply, listen to opinions from all sides, prevent inaccurate reporting, and taking parts for the whole. We must be objective and fair, persist in persuading the people with reason, fully consider the complexity of real situations, be good at listening to different opinions, preventing subjective assumptions and giving way to emotions. We must stress social effect, fix eyes upon solving real problems, track the effects of dealing with reports, guide towards the positive side, not play up malice, and not report problems for which there are no conditions to resolve in the current stage. We must abide by news discipline, scrupulously abide by news professional ethics, must ask for instructions when we are unsure about problems, manuscripts involving important or sensitive problems must be submitted, problems that should not be openly reported may be reflected through internal reference. In order to do radio and television public opinion supervision well, at present, we must improve work in the following three aspects:

First, we must persist in constructive supervision. Exposing problems must be rich in constructiveness, and must stand on the position of the Party and the people, start from improving work, resolving problems, fighting for justice against evil, eliminating the bad and extolling the good, safeguarding stability and serving the larger picture, closely coordinating with Party and government central work, guiding towards the positive aspect, and striving for good results. We must realistically raise the focus and effectiveness of radio and television public opinion supervision work, and pay attention to radio and television public opinion supervision work’s political effect and social effect. We must correctly deal with the relationship between positive propaganda and reporting with public opinion supervision, and cannot separate the two, or oppose them against each other. We must completely persist in unity. stability and encouragement, the principle of mainly propagating the positive side, and guaranteeing the correct orientation of public opinion supervision. We may not one-sidedly pursue sensational effects, may not purely stress listening rates or viewing rates, and may not coerce the counterparts of supervision, we cannot seek novelties, play matters up or exaggerate matters. Reports concerning major and sensitive problems must especially be paid attention to, and must be handled strictly according to etiquette.

Second, we must persist in scientific supervision. Public opinion supervision work must persist in a scientific attitude, stress scientific methods, reflect scientific spirits and abide by scientific rules. We must correctly deal with the relationship between micro-level truths and macro-level truths, correctly handle the relationship between the exceptional and the common, the concrete and the abstract, the special and the general, the appearance and the essence, the part and the overall situation. We must strengthen a consciousness of the larger picture, and according to the real needs of developing the larger picture, conduct timely and appropriate adjustment of radio and television pcs actions, proportions, content and quantities, prevent and overcome negative effects and bad influences that may be engendered in public opinion supervision. Overall, radio and television public opinion supervision Third, we must persist in supervision according to the law. Radio and television public opinion supervision work must be conducted within the scope of the State Constitution and laws, may not vilify the Socialist system, may not go against the Party line, principles and policies, may not endanger national security, and may not involve Party and State secrets. We must persist in judging by facts, taking law as criterion, realistically safeguarding the dignity of State laws. We must consider the social effect, settle social contradictions and safeguard social stability in relation to judicial reporting. We may not interfere with the regular work of judicial organs, procuratorate organs, public security organs and other judiciary organs, may not intervene in the independent case handling of judicial organs according to the law, may not intervene in the mediation of civil disputes and economic disputes, may not infringe the lawful rights and interests of the State, collectives and individuals, and before investigation of cases is complete, not conduct open reporting of the case trial situation. We must strictly according to the Centre’s uniform deployment and relevant requirements conduct propaganda and reporting work concerning trial work of a number of cases that have strong social repercussions or major cases receiving close attention, in case of uncertainty, we must timely report this and ask for instructions. Public supervision work involving the Army, the Armed Police, ethnicities, religion, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, foreign governments and organizations and other sensitive spheres, major or prominent cases as well as radio and television public opinion supervision programmes that might easily induce mass incidents must be submitted to relevant departments for authorization. Radio and television public opinion supervision work must happen through lawful channels and with news material obtained through proper channels, and may not adopt illegal or immoral methods to conduct newsgathering and reporting. No undercover filming or recording is permitted.

III, We must grasp the focus of work, and raise work levels

We must strengthen supervision of acts violating laws and regulations, strengthen supervision of Party and government principle and policy implementation situations, strengthen supervision of Party discipline and government discipline implementation situations, strengthen supervision over acts harming the interest of the masses, and strengthen supervision over repulsive social phenomena, immoral acts and bad practices. In order to raise radio and television public opinion supervision work levels, we must grasp the following important aspects:

First, we must grasp the complete picture and select topics. To launch public opinion supervision, we must determine themes on the basis of the central Party and government work for a period and the real requirements of social life. Topics must have a general nature, representative nature, focused nature and feasible nature, and we must select important questions and model cases that the Party and government holds in high regard, the popular masses are closely concerned with, that we hope to resolve and are able to resolve. We must differentiate the mainstream problems and tributary problems in social life, and grasp the important problems and secondary problems in real work.

Second, we must  investigate and research, and get the facts right. We must guarantee that information sources, report content and concrete circumstances are correct and precise, we cannot listen to gossip, take the part for the whole, or fabricate facts. We must send journalists from a work unit to gather news and verify before we can report on clues provided by the masses. It is prohibited to directly edit and release information from the Internet, and prohibited to carry social contributions that have not been verified.

Third, we must be objective and complete, and persuade people with reason. Public opinion supervision must speak true facts, must fully consider the complexity of real situations, listen to different opinions, and achieve that facts are correct, viewpoints are correct, fair and reasonable.

Fourth, we must grasp good levels and grasp good qualities. We must persist in the method of material dialectics, avoid to only talk about one aspect and overlook other aspects, avoid oversimplification, one-sidedness and absolutism at all costs, and prevent the emergence of negative influences. We cannot simply pursue quantity, and not lay down quota, not determine proportions, not determine tasks and avoid that public opinion supervision reports are overly many in a given period, which engenders a misconception of “problems piling up” among the masses. Public opinion supervision must pay attention to comprehensive planning, avoiding concentration on a given region or a given sector during a time period.

Fifth, we must pay attention to methods, and stress effect. Public opinion supervision must strong in guiding, strong in educating, and prevent negative influences on people brought about by playing up matters when exposing and criticizing bad phenomena; we must be brave in exposing problems for which there are conditions to resole them at the current stage, and at the same time must track measures adopted and effects of dealing with matters of reported departments; when touching upon difficulties and problems in social life, we must guide the masses to establish courage and confidence to overcome difficulties; concerning hot topics, we must be good as clearly explaining facts and causes, disambiguate and explain matters. Public opinion supervision results must condense in people’s heats, enhance unity, inspire spirits, stimulate work, and must give people inspiration, enlightenment and caution.

Sixth, we must help work and settle contradictions. Public opinion supervision must both deeply expose problems, and must correctly guide public opinion, achieving exposure and criticism of a few model examples, and promote the resolution of similar problems. We must settle contradictions and may not intensify contradictions; we must rationalize emotions, and not let emotions run wild; we must lend a hand and not bring trouble, encourage and not lose hear. Problems that cannot be resolved at the present stage, should not be openly criticized or reported; concerning isolated or exceptional cases that localities or organs have already dealt with according to the law, or that have been appropriately resolved, no open criticism or reporting should be conducted again; concerning problems that higher-level leading organs and relevant departments are in the process of resolving, open criticism and reporting must be extremely cautious, so as to avoid that the difficulty of resolving the problems is increased by open criticism and reporting.

Seventh, we must be well-disposed towards people, and be cautious in calling names .Public opinion supervision must be sincere and have good will, and may not be freezing irony and burning satire. Under conditions of not involving unlawful or criminal acts, generally no criticism by name should be made of individual citizens. Criticism by name of leading cadres must be strictly controlled, where criticism by name is truly necessary, the programme must be submitted to the higher-level Party Committee of the criticized leading cadre for examination and approval, and be approved by the radio and television organ’s main responsible comrades. We must safeguard the image and prestige of leading cadres, and may not influence their launching work or social stability.

Eighth, we must grasp the opportunity, and keep inside information from outsiders. Public opinion supervision must pay attention to coordinate with Party and government work, and grasp reporting and broadcast opportunities. We must persist in the principles of keeping inside information from outsiders, and differentiating treatment, concerning important situations, social situation and popular will that should not be openly reported, but that has important reference value, “internal reference” may be adopted to reflect them.

Ninth, we must safeguard the lawful rights and interests of objects of reporting. We must respect citizens’ human dignity, safeguard citizens’ right of name, right of portrait, right of reputation, right of honour and right of privacy. It is prohibited to reveal the privacy of other persons or concoct facts to defame their human dignity, as well as using insulting, slanderous and other methods to damage other persons’ reputation. We must obtain news through lawful and proper methods, respect the statements and proper requirements of interviewees. When gathering news on accidents, the feelings of the victims and their relatives shall be taken into consideration, avoiding harm to their psychology and emotions.

Tenth, we must realistically safeguard the rights and interests of minors. When gathering and editing reports involving the negative side of minors, laws and regulations must be obeyed. Without the agreement of guardians of minors, generally, minors’ names, addresses, portraits and other information and audiovisual material from which it is possible to differentiate and deduce their real identity may not be exposed. When it is truly necessary, it must be dealt with through technology. Minors are not to be aroused to participate in programmes they may harm their character or feelings; there must be guard against the content and broadcast method of reports of matters that may induce minors to imitate them, leading to bad consequences; minors’ criminal cases generally are not to be openly reported. Radio and television cannot reveal minors’ criminal cases under the name of reporting news or propagating the legal system, and cannot openly expose the details of minors’ criminal cases and their method of committing crimes in order to pursue hearing rates or viewing rates.

Eleventh, we must scrupulously abide by professional news ethics. We must be clean and self-disciplined, act without selfish consideration, and may not use the conveniences of the position to seek private gain, we may not accept entertainment offers or presents, may not extort and blackmail people under the name of public opinion supervision, and may not practice favouritism in concealing news facts that should be reported, and firmly prevent paid-for news, paid-for non-news and other activities.

Twelfth, we must strictly grasp cross-regional public opinion supervision. All localities’ radio stations and television stations may not conduct public opinion supervision newsgathering and reports across regions.

IV, We must establish and complete systems, strengthen supervision and management

All levels’ administrative radio, film and television departments and broadcast organs must strictly according to the CCS “Opinions” and the CPD “Implementation Rules”, further establish and complete all regulatory systems, perfect reporting, examination and approval procedures, and realistically strengthen management over radio and television public opinion supervision.

First, we must straiten employment systems. We must select newsgathering and editing personnel with good political qualities, high political levels, strong professional capacity and a correct work style to participate in public opinion supervision reporting work. Newsgathering and editing personnel with a weak political consciousness, a superficial work style and one-sided ideologies and methods cannot participate in public opinion supervision reporting work.

Second, we must establish avoidance systems. Newsgathering and editing personnel launching public opinion supervision work, shall avoid encountering the following four sorts of circumstances: having a marital relationship, direct blood relative relationship, collateral blood relative relationship within the third degree or will have a marital relationship soon with the object of the report or a person whose interests are concerned; having a relationship of friends, fellow villagers, schoolmates, colleagues, etc., and having regular contact; where concrete economic, reputation and other interest relationship exists; supervising matters involving localities of the person’s birth, or where they worked or lived for a long time. All levels’ radio and television organs must closely integrate work relationships, firmly grasp formulation of and determinedly implement avoidance systems for  newsgathering and editing personnel launching public opinion supervision work.

Third, we must establish programme inspection and signing procedures. All levels’ radio and television organs must realistically strengthen public opinion supervision programmes’ examination, verification and gatekeeping work, must establish corresponding theme selection reporting and approval, newsgathering arrangement and programme inspection and signing work systems. General public opinion supervision theme selection and newsgathering arrangement is to be examined and approved by the department head, programmes are inspected and signed by the department head; for public opinion supervision reports involving major matters and sensitive problems, or in columns and programmes broadcast at important times, theme selection and newsgathering and reporting arrangements are examined and approved by the leader or editorial board, and programmes are examined and signed by the station leader; programmes about which there is uncertainty must be submitted to the relevant department for examination and approval.

Fourth, we must establish and perfect incentive and restraint mechanisms. All levels’ administrative radio, film and television departments and broadcasting organs appraise public opinion supervision work, and must stress real effect, taking whether or not there is assistance in resolving the problems and promoting work as appraisal standards. Newsgathering and editing personnel having prominent contributions in public opinion supervision work must be given rewards; those violating discipline and regulations, creating harmful influences, must be strictly dealt with.

Fifth, we must establish and perfect mechanisms to accept social supervision. All levels’ radio ad television organs must announce supervision and reporting telephones to society, to accept reports concerning newsgathering personnel violating discipline and regulations, are to reply to the reporting person concerning the investigation, verification and handling of reported content, and are to report matters to the controlling department or announce them to society. Where other person’s lawful rights and interests are infringed because of inaccurate or unsuitable reporting, it must be openly rectified, the facts clarified and the harmful influence cancelled.

V, We must strengthen education and training, and do team construction well

All levels’ radio, film and television management departments and broadcast organs must realistically strengthen training and education of newsgathering and editing personnel, formulate education and training plans, clarify education and training content, determine education and training personnel and perform education and training work well.

First, we must firmly establish a firm and correct political orientation. We must earnestly study Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important “Three Represents” thought, persist in the scientific development view, firmly establish a Marxist view of news, incessantly strengthen political consciousness, a sense of the larger picture, a sense of responsibility and a sense of discipline, raise political acuteness and political differentiation capacity, raise the capacity to correctly analyse, judge and understand complex matters and questions.

Second, we must raise political quality and professional quality. We must earnestly study the Party’s basic theories, basic line, basic programme and basic experience; earnestly study the Party’s policies, laws and regulations and the Party’s discipline; earnestly study the purpose of serving the people with a full heart and a full mind and safeguarding the basic rights and interests of the popular masses; earnestly study knowledge in aspects such as politics, economics, culture, science and technology, foreign relations, military affairs, news, etc. We must carry forward a work style of respecting work and devotion, seeking truth from facts, working diligently in spite of difficulties, being upright, just, clean and honest, being earnest and meticulous, and daring to innovate.

Third, we must strengthen professional training concerning public opinion supervision work. We must persist in a “strict, detailed, deep and true” work style, realistically improve the writing style of public opinion supervision reports. We must strengthen the sense of social responsibility of newsgathering and editing personnel, correctly understand and utilize the authority of public opinion supervision, correctly present the position of newsgathering and editing personnel, rectify the objectives of public opinion supervision and incessantly raise the level of public opinion supervision work.

VI, We must earnestly strengthen leadership and clarify tasks and the division of work.

We must earnestly strengthen leadership over public opinion supervision work, persist in the principle of being responsible to protect one’s own territory, take earnest responsibility, be cautious and careful, and strictly keep the gates. On questions relating to political orientation, or relating to basic principles, we must maintain sobriety and steadfastness. Radio and television public opinion supervision work must persist in high standards, strict requirements, and being good at integrating the Party’s line, principles and policies with the reality of launching radio and television public opinion supervision, integrate the Party’s principles and policies concerning public opinion supervision work with the concrete local circumstances, and creatively launch work.

We must earnestly summarize the experiences of public opinion supervision work, research and formulate concrete rules to strengthen and improve public opinion supervision work, resolve difficulties that radio and television organs encounter during public opinion supervision or problems that exist. We must strengthen the macro-level coordination and classified guidance of radio and television organs’ launching public opinion supervision work, keep the gates well and maintain standards, fully give reign to the dominant function of radio and television organs and especially central and province-level radio stations and television stations. We must support radio and television newsgathering and editing personnel to correctly launch public opinion supervision, and create the necessary conditions for launching public opinion supervision. We must pay attention to protect the lawful rights and interests of radio and television newsgathering and editing personnel, and guarantee that radio and television public opinion supervision is conducted regularly, we must support the newsgathering activities of journalists of radio and television organs and especially central and provincial-level radio and television organs, and provide conveniences for newsgathering and reporting.

The Central People’s Radio Station, the Central Television Station and all nationwide provincial-level radio stations and television stations must, according to the requirements of the CCS “Opinions”, the CPD “Implementation Rules” and SARFT, formulate concrete opinions and plans for strengthening and improving public opinion supervision work in their work units.





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