Public Management System
The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council Information Office support journalism work in accordance with the law, and provide corresponding information service and guidance. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is responsible for the administration of the press, publication, radio, film and television. The State Internet Information Office is responsible for the supervision and management of national Internet information service. The All-China Journalists Association formulates and maintains industry standards. In news units, the president or editor-in-chief is responsible for the overall operation. Systems of post responsibility and employment with certificates are practiced. Within a legal framework, the Chinese media enjoy professional rights, fulfill legal obligations, shoulder social responsibilities and enjoy full freedom of the press in accordance with the law. Major practices in media management and services are:
1. Adhering to management in accordance with the law. The state’s laws, as the standards of conduct for Chinese journalism, must be observed by media staff. China has set up a relatively complete legal system, part of which has provisions on media work. There are also special laws and regulations concerning the press and publications, radio and TV and the Internet. These laws and regulations both regulate the professional behavior of the media and journalists, and protect their legitimate rights and interests. For example, the Regulations on Publications Administration, Regulations on Broadcasting and TV Administration, Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services, Administrative Measures on Internet News Information Services, Administrative Provisions on Newspaper Publication, Administrative Provisions on Journalists’ Permits, and Administrative Provisions on Newspaper Offices formulated by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and State Internet Information Office. The Regulations on Disclosure of Government Information promulgated in 2008 guarantees that citizens and other legal persons acquire government information in accordance with the law. The Provisions on News Coverage by Permanent Offices of Foreign Media Organizations and Foreign Journalists institutionalizes the major principles and spirit of the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period, providing convenience for foreign media and journalists in their reporting in China. These provisions are quite different from the ones released in 1990. For example, foreign journalists now need not be accompanied by representatives of domestic units to report in permitted areas, or apply to a local foreign affairs department for permission.
2. Strengthening self-discipline within the industry. Media workers should observe the basic principles of journalism, strengthen self-discipline and abide by professional ethics. China has a complete organization management and service system for journalism including the All-China Journalists Association, local journalists associations and Society of Professional Journalists to exercise self-discipline in the industry. Self-discipline norms such as the Code of Professional Ethics for Chinese Media Workers, Self-discipline Convention for China’s Internet Industry, and Self-discipline Convention for Mobile Phone Media have been formulated to regulate the operations of media workers in different fields.
3. Strengthening the release of authoritative information. China has established the principle of releasing emergency information in a timely, accurate, open and transparent manner, and improved the relevant systems and rules. In case of public emergencies, the related local governments and departments should release authoritative information in a timely manner, allow domestic and foreign reporters make spot coverage and hold accountable those who lie about, conceal, delay or under-report important information. In case of important activities and emergencies, related local governments and departments should hold press conferences, accept interviews and release authoritative information as soon as possible. Within one month after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, for example, the State Council Information Office, together with over 20 departments and agencies, held 25 press conferences, and the Sichuan Government Information Office held 24 press conferences to release ample updated information.
4. Improving services for the media. China is working to provide a variety of information services for domestic and foreign media. Press centers were set up during the CPC national congresses, NPC and CPPCC annual sessions, Beijing Olympic Games, Shanghai World Expo and Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, to provide news leads to domestic and foreign journalists, help them contact interviewees, prepare necessary working equipment, and facilitate the life and work of journalists. The press center for the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC hosted over 2,700 journalists, among whom over 1,700 were foreign, offering public radio and television channels and news photos for free, arranging shuttle buses from their residences to the Great Hall of the People and organizing interviews for them in neighboring areas of Beijing. The All-China Journalists Association holds salons regularly, at which experts, scholars and officials are invited to communicate with domestic and foreign journalists on international issues and China-related topics, and offer update and accurate information.
5. Supporting media in exercising supervision by public opinion. Journalists have rights and obligations concerning the exercise of supervision by public opinion. The CPC and the Chinese government support the media in exercising supervision “in accordance with the law and in a scientific and constructive way,” asking Party committees and governments at different levels to treat the media with respect, use it wisely and manage it well, supporting them in reporting, correctly facing supervision by public opinion and improving their ability to communicate with the media. Since its inception in 1994, the program Topics in Focus on CCTV has brought up and urged the solution to many problems existing in social development and the country’s transition period by reporting issues of common concern based on facts, attracting wide attention and loyalty from the audience over the years. Many newspapers, news websites, radio and television stations have devoted their columns or programs to Name and Shame lists to address the people’s concerns and help them solve problems, to produce positive energy and promote social progress.