Promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media is a major strategic deployment that the Party Centre made with a view to consolidating the propaganda, ideology and cultural battlefield, and expanding mainstream ideology and public opinion. General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed that we must accelerate the converged development of traditional media and new media, permit the use of new technologies and new applications to innovate media communication methods, and occupy the commanding heights in information communication. The 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress has put forward that we must integrate news media resources, and promote the converged development of traditional media and new media. We must earnestly study and comprehend the spirit of the Centre, further unite thoughts, raise our understanding, and realistically strengthen our sense of urgency, sense of responsibility and sense of mission concerning converged media development.
I, Promoting converged media development is an urgent strategic task.
At present, network and digital technology have developed disruptively, this brought a profound adjustment to the media structure and a major change to the public opinion ecology, the rapidity at which new media has developed, and the breadth of its coverage far exceed the imagination, and have seriously affected traditional media. From the angle of the media development structure, the audience scale of traditional media has incessantly decreased, its market share continues to decline, ever more people obtain information through new media, and the young generation especially uses the Internet as their main channel to obtain information. From the angle of the public opinion ecology, the capacity of new media to set the agenda and influence public opinion is increasing every day, large numbers of social hot topics swiftly emerge, ferment and spread online, the public opinion guidance ability of new media faces challenges. From the angle of ideology, the Internet has become the main battlefield for the public opinion struggle, and directly affects our country’s ideological security and regime security. It may be said that traditional media have come an important juncture of reform and survival. In the face of this sort of sever circumstances, promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media must take place without wasting a moment, we must follow the pace of the developments of the time, accelerate the process of converged development, this is an historical responsibility that we must bear.
Converged media development is a major and profound change in the media sphere. Perhaps, traditional media and new media do not have a simple relationship of one disappearing as the other grows, but under certain conditions, for example under conditions of converged development, there may be a situation in which both grow. The relationship between traditional media and new media has, generally speaking, progressed through three stages, the first is where traditional media established new media, the second is where traditional media and new media develop in an interactive manner, the third is where traditional media and new media develop in a converged manner, we are currently entering the third phase. At present, many media have begun exploring converged development, and there are quite a few bright spots. During the propaganda and reporting about this year’s Two National Meetings, main central media have strengthened interactivity and convergence, have broadcast information about the Two Meetings through websites, microblogs, WeChat, clients, etc., in a three-dimensional, interactive and all-weather manner, sending out the mainstream voice, this became a great exploration of converged development. At the same time, we must also see that converged development is a completely new topic, and the problems that we cannot follow, cannot adapt and cannot perform matters sufficiently still exist in many areas. We must further raise our ideas and understandings, strengthen comprehensive planning, formulate general lines of thinking, clarify work objectives, and walk the path of converged development steadily, quickly and well.
Promoting converged media development requires following the demands of vigorous promotion, scientific development, standardized management and guaranteeing orientations, taking main central media as leaders, taking focus programmes as handholds, persisting in the complementary and integrated development of the advantages of traditional media and new media, persisting in taking advanced technology as handhold and content construction as the basis, promoting profound convergence between traditional media and news media in areas such as content, channels, platforms, operations and management, accelerating the construction of a new sort of mainstream media with diverse forms, advanced methods, which are strong in communication strength and competitiveness, and strive to achieve first-rate global levels.
News media are the mouthpieces of the Party and the people. Promoting converged media development requires that we persist in the principle that the Party manages the media from beginning to end, that we persist in the policies of integrating stability and exhortation, and of giving first place to positive propaganda, let the correct orientation penetrate into every segment of converged development, ensure that post-convergence media continue to become mainstream media, and incessantly consolidate mainstream ideology and public opinion.
II, Strive to shape ideas and understandings adapted to converged media development.
Ideas guide actions, understandings promote practice. Generally speaking, we are gaining an increasingly clear picture of converged media development trends, but in real work, there are still some lagging understandings and deviant ideas. Some are satisfied with the status quo or are swayed by considerations of gain and loss, they are anxious about smashing the original structure, believe that converged development is unnecessary or superfluous, and there we can also live without converged development; some have a lack of confidence or an inert mentality, they lack confidence in converged development, are unwilling to try it out or to learn to cope with it, they sit back and wait for policies, funds and programmes; some have inert thoughts, they use methods for running traditional media to deal with converged development, the plans they bring out and measures they propose are often unsuited to the road ahead. The root of these problems and phenomena is that they haven’t moved their backsides and renewed their ideas, they have not left behind their traditional media positions and thinking. To promote converged media development, it is first and foremost necessary to liberate thoughts, do away with the fetters of old ideas, and shape new ideas and new understandings adapted to converged development.
First, establish integrated development ideas. Integrated development is an inherent demand and the basic orientation for media convergence. At present, traditional media are all vigorously developing their new media business, they run news websites, have set up legal person microblogs, have set up clients, and realized interactive development. But the traditional media business and the new media business, generally speaking, is still working in parallel, and overall advantages have not been given full rein. We must establish integrated development ideas for traditional media and new media, realize the effective integration of all sorts of media resources and production factors, realize sharing and circulation of information content, technological applications, platforms and terminals and human talent, shape integrated organizational structures, dissemination systems and management systems, and ensure that I live within you, and you live within me.
Second, strengthen Internet thinking. To promote converged media development, it is very important that we must fully use network technology measures to transform traditional media, this demands that we must use completely new Internet thinking to plan and promote work in all areas. We must adapt to characteristics of new media such as equal circulation and interactive communication, establish user ideas, change the past method in which media communicated in one way, and the audience passively accepted this, pay attention to users’ experiences, and satisfy diversified and individualized information demands. We must adapt to characteristics of new media such as instant communication and large-scale communication, and establish a sense of taking the lead at decisive occasions, give high regard to creating first, sending out first and communicating first, fully excavate and integrate information resources, seize the initiative in information communication and gain the advantage. We must adapt to characteristics of media such as full openness and full competitiveness, establish a global vision, and strengthen market ideas, raise marketing and product recommendation capacity, and expand and strengthen our own brands.
Third, strengthen a sense of learning and development. To promote converged media development, we must strengthen indigenous construction, and raise technological research, development and innovation capacities. But at this time where the Internet develops at flying speed and new technology applications emerge one after another, it is impossible to only rely on our own research and development for the technology needed for converged development, and this is also not necessary. We must smash the ideas of small and comprehensive or large and comprehensive, and be able to use social and others’ technologies to the best of our ability, we cannot do convergence with closed doors, and build everything ourselves. We must fully use others’ mature technologies, platforms, channels and methods through many kinds of forms, lend strength from them and move ahead, and realize even better and more rapid development.
Fourth, carry forward a spirit of storming fortifications and smashing difficulties. Converged media development is an omnidirectional renewal, and is a new and arduous pioneering journey. It is different from the past changes of layouts and adjustment of columns, and is not a patch-up of the current framework, if we do not think ahead, but fear this and that, it will be difficult to move work forward. We must, with the courage to bathe in fire and be reborn, and a bearing of what you can do, I can do better, dare to take up our charge, shoulder our responsibility, resolve difficulties, pick the meat from the bones, and march ahead. We must stand at the forefront of new media development, liberate thoughts, explore boldly, innovate tenaciously, accelerate the pace of converged development, realize an overtake, and vie for first place.
III, Aim at and use the newest technology to promote converged development.
Science and technology are the first productive force. The rapid development of modern technology has promoted news communication to march from “pencil and fire” or “light and electricity’ to “data and networks”. The process of new media’s expansion and development in reality is the process of the integration and development of network technology and information content. Technology and content are mutually supporting and mutually converging, they are two wings of one bird, two wheels of one cart, they jointly constitute core competitiveness. At present, traditional media are lagging very much behind in the areas of research and application, upgrading and maintenance, their shortcomings in network technology has constrained their own development. Converged development requires realizing breakthroughs, the crucial matters are complying with the diversification, socialization and audiovisualization trends of the Internet, including all usable technologies today into our vision, bringing them into our programme design, using the best technologies, achieving the highest levels, and obtaining the greatest effects for converged development.
First, use big data and cloud computing technology to move news production forward. Big data and cloud computing are two representative kinds of new technologies, the development and utilization of two kinds of technologies has profoundly influenced social production and life, and has opened up a broad space for news production. In the process of converged media development, we must pay high regard to and use these two technologies well, optimize media content production, storage and distribution workflows, upgrade data processing capacities, and provide strong support for content production and dissemination. To utilize big data and cloud computing technology, we must first and foremost grasp high-capacity data resources. Through decades of development, news media have accumulated rich data resources, these are our precious assets. We must integrate these advantages and resources, establish and perfect specialized, upscale and modernized content databases, and at the same time strengthen collection and integration of data in all areas, incessantly ramming down an information resource basis for converged development. We must strengthen data and news production, fully excavate the news value hidden behind big data, broaden news sources, enrich news content, and provide high-quality news information products to users.
Second, use mobile Internet tehcnology to realize an overtake on a curved road. At present, mobile Internet is developing quickly, smartphones, tablet computers and other such mobile terminals have become the main means through which people go online and obtain information. Some say that the future world is the world of the mobile Internet. In the last two years, many large-scale media organs abroad have positioned themselves toward the mobile Internet, but generally speaking, the times at which everyone started to move, and their mutual differences are not very big, many efforts have been spent for our mobile Internet, and it is quite possible to realize an overtake on a curved road. From the angle of the present, clients are a major point of entry to visit the mobile Internet, and are relatively mature technological applications, many media have opened up mobile clients, but they must be run in a manner that creates characteristics and influence. We must strengthen mobile website construction, enrich information content, perfect service functions, and strive to forge news portals for mobile Internet users. At the same time, we must vigorously use mobile telecommunications technologies and platforms to run good mobile newspapers and stimulate their standardized and orderly development. Commercial websites have relatively mature technology in the area of mobile clients, mobile browsers and application stores, we must vigorously follow and properly use these, draw support from their technologies and platforms, and broaden coverage and influence on mobile terminals.
Third, use microblogs and WeChat technology to expand socialized communication channels. Online social media-type applications are becoming more popular every day, social media websites have become service access points and user sources for new Internet businesses. At the end of last year, the moon buggy “Yutu” microblog came online, using a anthropomorphized voice to communicate its plans to explore the moon, and used Internet language to interact with its online friends, attracting and moving many. To promote converged media development, we must closely follow and selectively develop social media-type applications and technologies, stimulate the effective linkage of social media platforms and news communication platforms, strengthen platform stickiness, and collect even more loyal users. We must learn from commercial websites’ microblog, WeChat and other technological platforms, build good legal person accounts, broaden the user scale, and improve communication effects.
We must also consider that information network technology development brings something new every day, renewal and update periods are ever shorter, for example, 4G technology has already begun to be applied and expanded, foldable e-paper, wearable equipment, 5G technology and others are certain to come, and will bring new changes to information communication. We must closely follow the frontiers of technology, aim at development trends, and incessantly guide and promote media convergence with new media applications.
IV, Further strengthen the core competitiveness of media information content.
Where news media are concerned, content is always the root, it is the locus of the crux that decides its existence and development. It should be considered that “newspaper” consists of two parts, one is “news”, and the other is “paper”. “News” is the communicated content, converged development is thus for the sake of ensuring that “news” responds to and utilizes new technology and new methods, so it is produced and communicated even better. “Paper” is a traditional carrier, it is material and technological, now, we must use new technologies to replace old technologies, use Internet technology and electronic technology instead of “paper”. It may be said that “news” is the core, and “paper” serves “news”. To promote converged media development, at the same time as stressing technological leadership and drive, we must persist in “content is king” from beginning to end, put content construction in an extremely prominent position, and win development advantages through content superiority.
First, pursue specialist authority and quality. Traditional media have an incomparable advantage over new media in areas such as information collection and verification, analysis and interpretation, etc. We must, through converged development, give rein to this advantage to the greatest extent, and extend and expand it to new media. We must rely on strong newsgathering and editing forces, authoritative information channels, standardized newsgathering and editing workflows, conduct specialized news production, strive to forge top-quality news products, guarantee the truth, accuracy, completeness and objectivity of online and offline reporting. We must strengthen excavation and processing of information resources, deeply plow through information content, publish profound reporting and comments that have a strong ideological nature and clear viewpoints, and further improve the quality of information and content.
Second, stress speed and simplicity in communication. One important characteristic of new media communication is micro-communication, all kinds of micro-content and micro-information are circulating at high speed, and circulating across platforms, users are able to gain information anytime and anyplace. This requires us to write articles in “micro”, produce more succinct and brief, fresh and rapid, strongly influential information, to seize the decisive opportunity in communication. We must use microblogs, WeChat and other such communication platforms well, shape reporting mechanisms with real–time collection and real-time posting , and strive to seize the first impact point. We must strengthen creation and production on short film channels and micro-film channels, enrich reporting methods, and present reporting content in audiovisual form.
Third, stress mass interactivity in services. Now, generalized information no longer is a rare commodity, people’s individualized demands are growing in quantity, forcing content production to make efforts in specialization and audience separation. In the process of converged media development, it is necessary to both provide common news products, and to strengthen individualized news production. We must earnestly research users’ different demands, produce specific information products in a focused manner, deliver point-to-point recommendations into the hands of users, ensure that content is tailor-made to measure, and communicated accurately, raise the effectiveness of news propaganda. Interactivity is a unique advantage and clear characteristic of new media, to conduct content production in the process of converged development, we must ensure that interactive thinking permeates all segments of newsgathering and editing. We must strengthen the interaction and exchange between media and users, guide users to provide news clues, reporting materials, opinions and suggestions, raise users’ levels of interests and participation, participation within interaction and communication within participation.
Fourth, realize multi-mediatisation in terms of display. To conduct news production in a new media environment, we must adopt multi-mediatized display forms, ensure that our news reporting starts to move and to live through diverse forms of display and multi-media delivery. Last year, there was a five-minute video online on “how leaders are fostered”, which used a cartoon form to narrate the selection process of Chinese leaders, this presented our leaders to the public as cartoon characters, it had a hit rate exceeding 10 million within a few days, and society responded well to it. In the process of converged media development, we must comprehensively use images, infographics, cartoons, audio, video and many other methods to realize that content upgrades and converges from being readable to being watchable, from being static to being dynamic, and from being one-dimensional to being-multi-dimensional, to satisfy the needs of multi-terminal communication and many kinds of experience.
V, Establish organizational structures, communication systems and management systems adapted to converged media development
To promote converged media development, we must conduct technological upgrading, platform expansion and content innovation, and must also make profound adjustments to and perfections of organizational structures, communication systems and management systems. From the angle of the present situation, some of our organizational mechanisms are not suited to the demands of converged development, and constrain the development of news productivity. We must accelerate the pace of reform, vigorously explore and innovate, and promote the formation of integrated systems and mechanisms, to provide firm guarantees and powerful support to converged development.
First, reorganize the media’s internal organizational structure. In the process of converged development, reorganizing the media’s internal organizational structure is a great difficulty. We must, on the basis of the needs of converged development, strengthen the force of new media, change the situation where traditional media and new media are separated and work on their own, and promote profound integration of traditional media and new media. We must reconstruct newsgathering and editing production flows, upgrade newsgathering and editing systems, establish uniform platforms to command and control multimedia newsgathering and editing, realize that news information is collected once, generated in many ways, and communicated in a plural manner. We must transform appointment mechanisms, establish uniform talent management systems, expand new media content production, technology research, capital use and operational management talent training and recruitment strength, optimize talent structures and uniformly allocate and employ them. We must perfect effect assessment mechanisms, explore effective methods to attract talent, keep talent and use talent well under conditions of media convergence, and shape a good environment to get things done and do pioneering work.
Second, build modernized and three-dimensional communication systems. Communication strength relates to influence. We must, through converged development, accelerate the construction of modernized three-dimensional communication systems, enrich communication forms and dissemination methods, expand communication channels, platforms and terminals, ensure that media communication is ever quicker and coverage ever broader, and ensure that “where users are, our coverage is”. Under the current system, those running newspapers, those running press agencies and those running radio and television stations each have different roles their own orientation. We must start from the reality of each, vigorously explore converged development models that are suited to each one, scientifically plan the basic setup of the communication system, clarify the strategic orientation and development focus of each, and build three-dimensional communication structures with broad coverage.
Third, establish scientific and effective media management systems. To promote media convergence, we must persist in grasping development with one hand and grasping management with one hand. We must rationalize management systems, break through systemic and mechanistic barriers to converged development, conduct scientific management and effective management online and off-line, and in different business models, strive to raise the scientific levels of management, and bring more standards into the communication order. We must promote the integration of media resources, strive to resolve the problems of duplicate functions, content homogeny and scattering of forces, optimize resource allocations and further liberate news productivity.
Promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media is both a strategic task and an urgent task. We must forge ahead with tenacity, press on with enthusiasm, incessantly create new dimensions for converged media development, and open up a new frontier for the Party’s news undertaking.
对于新闻媒体来说，内容永远是根本，是决定其生存与发展的关键所在。应当看到， “报纸”是两个部分，一个是“报”，一个是“纸”。“报”是传播的内容，融合发展就是为了使“报”适应和运用新的技术、新的方式，更好地加以生产和传播。“纸”是传播的载体，是物质的、技术的，现在就是要用新的技术来换旧的技术，用互联网技术、电子技术来换“纸”。可以说， “报”是核心，“纸”是为“报”服务的。推动媒体融合发展，在强调技术引领和驱动的同时，必须始终坚持“内容为王”，把内容建设摆在十分突出的位置，以内容优势赢得发展优势。