People’s Daily: Telling China’s Story Well in a New Converged Media Structure

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This article was originally published in People’s Daily on 19 August

Guo Ping

As the “lowered head tribe” are ambling through the torrent of information, they might not yet have paid attention to the fact that media themselves are seeing a profound change.

From the People’s Daily client coming online ceremoniously to the wind and waves stirred up in a short time by ThePaper.cn, and again to a number of Internet portal websites’ resigning themselves to “also being traditional media” as new media swiftly storm the beaches, the harbinger of media transformation have arrived everywhere already. And the starting gun has officially gone off on 18 August 2014. This day and this year will be written into the annals of history as the first year of converged media development in China.

On this day, the Central Leading Group for Deepening Reform convened its 4th meeting, where it deliberated and passed the “Guiding Opinions concerning Promoting the Converged Development of Traditional Media and New Media”. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed at this meeting that “[we must] forge a batch of new mainstream enterprises that are diverse in form, with advanced methods, which are competitive, and build a number of new media groups that are have strong force, propaganda strength, credibility and influence, and shape a three-dimensional, diverse and modern communication system with converged development. ”

This is an extremely weighty signal, which not only means that the Centre has profound insight into and a wise foresight concerning media development and transformation, it also indicates that the Centre is determined to play the next “offensive gambit” of reform, starting with the strategic structure of the media, occupying the public opinion battlefield and grasping the initiative in a new media structure. Clearly, this is a deployment with strategic significance, the opportune moment for reform and media transformation should be in step or even in the lead. In circumstances where the tasks of reform are extremely complicated, giving priority to deploying converged media development even more prominently reveals the wishes and hopes that China places on telling the Chinese story well against the background of profoundly entering the world.

The rise of new media is an irreversible trend. With the support of technological innovation, it has come onto the stage strongly, and has many advantages with which traditional media cannot compare, and has simultaneously brought a huge impact onto traditional media. Not coping with this great trend means traditional media will inevitably come to a miserable ending. Promoting the converged development of traditional media and new media can be seen as planning according to the circumstances, moving in response to the circumstances, and acting in step with the circumstances. And by grasping the laws of news communication and the development laws of new media, new media has added a pair of wings to traditional media. The clash is on the surface, convergence takes place at depth, and a new structure and a new model of converged media development will inevitably form.

We must consider that traditional media has been under assault, which on the surface is an assault by new technologies and new business models, but in fact is an assault of content. In a certain sense, new media have great development potential and they are greatly welcomed by audiences, fundamentally speaking, new media has the capacity to be good at telling stories, and at the same time will deeply forge the capacity to tell stories, because whoever is not good at telling stories will not be able to attract audiences, and will be eliminated. Exactly this sort of ability is the shortcoming in traditional media that must be remedied.

It is as General Secretary Xi Jinping said, “persist in taking advanced technology as support and content construction as the foundation, promote the profound converge of traditional media and new media in areas such as content, channels, platforms, operations and management”. From the angle of the current situation, deep convergence involves many areas, but from the fundamental and long-term angles, it is necessary to realize many transformations in thinking and ideas, and production methods in terms of content. This sort of change clearly cannot rely on the self-production of traditional media, but it is necessary ensure that, among the collision and tempering of ideas and under the drive and leadership of technology our capacity to tell stories reaches new frontiers.

How should we let your language seize audiences? How do we use your story to affect readers? How do we make audiences want to hear your voice and believe what you say? Media communication work essentially is the work of creating people’s thoughts. Invisible propaganda is the most brilliant communication. Coercion is ineffective, only by bringing life as the spring breeze and rain, by silently watering everything is it possible to reach people’s hearts. In this sense, converged media development triggers a transformation of understanding the laws of news communication anew, it is a self-reflection and self-improvement of media personalities through the drive of new technology.

In a situation of converged media development, as we gain the ability to tell stories, present-day China will stand in front of the world with an even clearer and more vivid image, and tough the hearts and souls of the people of the world. And we will have new mainstream media and new media groups, which will reveal to the world that China’s image will not be deformed, but will become even more true, civilized and amiable.

 

在媒体融合新格局中讲好中国故事
国平
当“低头族”们在信息的洪流中徜徉时,可能并未关注到媒体自身正在发生一场深刻的变革。

从人民日报客户端隆重上线,到澎湃新闻短时间内即风生水起,再到一些互联网门户网站自认“也是传统媒体”而迅速抢滩新兴媒体,媒体变革的先声早已全面开启。而变革的发令枪的正式响起,则在2014年8月18日。这一天和这一年,必将以中国媒体融合发展的元年而写入历史。

这一天,中央深改组召开第四次会议,审议通过《关于推动传统媒体和新兴媒体融合发展的指导意见》。习近平总书记在会上强调,“着力打造一批形态多样、手段先进、具有竞争力的新型主流媒体,建成几家拥有强大实力和传播力、公信力、影响力的新型媒体集团,形成立体多样、融合发展的现代传播体系”。

这是一个极具分量的信号,不仅意味中央对媒体发展与变革的深刻洞察与远见卓识,更表明中央决意下好改革“先手棋”,着手媒体战略布局,占领舆论制高点,在媒体新格局中掌握主动权。显然,这是一个具有战略意义的部署,改革的时机与媒体变革同步甚至要超前。在改革任务千头万绪的情势下,优先部署媒体融合发展,更是凸显中国深度融入世界背景下寄望讲好中国故事的愿景。

新兴媒体的崛起,已是不可逆转的大势。她在技术革新的支撑下强势登场,拥有传统媒体不可比拟的诸多优势,同时给传统媒体带来巨大冲击。不因应这一大势,传统媒体必然走入末路。推动传统媒体和新兴媒体融合发展,可谓因势而谋,应势而动,顺势而为。而把握了新闻传播规律和新兴媒体发展规律,新兴媒体就无异于给传统媒体插上一双翅膀。直面冲击,深度融合,一个媒体融合发展的新格局、新态势必将形成。

必须看到,传统媒体所受到的冲击,表面上是新技术、新业态的冲击,实质上是内容的冲击。在某种意义上讲,新兴媒体极具发展前景、极受受众欢迎,从根本上说乃是新兴媒体具有擅长讲故事的能力,同时又将深刻锻造讲故事的能力,因为谁不善于讲故事,谁就不会吸引受众,谁就会被淘汰。而这种能力,恰恰是传统媒体所需要补齐的短板。

正如习近平总书记所言,“坚持先进技术为支撑、内容建设为根本,推动传统媒体和新兴媒体在内容、渠道、平台、经营、管理等方面的深度融合”。从目前情况看,深度融合涉及诸方面,但从根本和长远看,则需要在内容上实现思维观念、生产方式的诸多变革。而这种变革,显然又不能靠传统媒体自我产生,而是需要在观念的碰撞和淬炼中、在技术的引领和带动中,使讲故事的能力抵达新境界。

如何让你的语言抓住受众?如何用你的故事感染读者?如何让受众想听你的声音、信任你的说法?媒体传播工作,本质是做人的思想工作。看不见的宣传,才是最高明的传播。强迫无效,惟有春风化雨、润物无声,才可能通达人心。在这个意义上讲,媒体融合发展,触发的是一场重新认识新闻传播规律的变革,是媒体人在新技术带动下的自我反省、自我提升。

在媒体融合发展的态势下,当我们拥有了讲故事的能力,当代中国将以更鲜明、更生动的形象立于世界面前、通达世人心灵。而有了新型主流媒体、新型媒体集团,展示在世界面前的中国形象将不会变形,而会是更真实、更文明、更可亲。

One thought on “People’s Daily: Telling China’s Story Well in a New Converged Media Structure

    […] population, without having to resort to overt indoctrination. As a People’s Daily editorial put […]

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