Staff Composition and Protection of Their Rights and Interests
The news units on the mainland of China employ a total workforce of approximately one million people engaged in journalism, marketing, distribution, management, administrative services and new media. Among them, 263,100 work for newspapers, 109,100 for periodicals, and over 600,000 for radio and television stations and other news units. Of the 258,000 journalists who are qualified for the official journalist certificate, about 100,000 work for newspapers, 7,000 for periodicals, 3,000 for news agencies, 145,000 for radio and television stations, 400 for newsreel studios and 700 for state news portals.
News workers holding the official journalist certificate number 26,000 at state news units and 228,000 at local news units, with at least 10,000 in each of Jiangsu, Henan, Guangdong, Shandong, Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces.
The journalist workforce features a fairly balanced gender mix, with 144,087 males accounting for 55.87% and 113,791 females 44.13%. The journalists generally have a higher-education level, with 68,613 or 26.61% holding an associate degree, 169,328 or 65.66% holding a bachelor’s degree, 18,318 or 7.10% holding a master’s degree, 728 or 0.28% holding a doctor’s degree, and 881 or 0.35% with other educational background. Young and middle-aged journalists constitute the majority of the workforce, with 39,928 or 15.48% below age 30, 100,357 or 38.92% between 30 and 40, 81,734 or 31.69% between 40 and 50, and 35,859 or 13.91% above 50, exhibiting a rational age mix.
The All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) is committed to protecting the lawful rights and interests of journalists, and takes the following measures to do so:
1. Receiving complaints about infringement of rights. The ACJA has established a complaints registration system and put people in charge of receiving complaints about infringement of journalists’ rights. It offers journalists across the country a hotline number and e-mail address to file such complaints. An emergency response mechanism is ready for handling emergencies involving infringements upon the lawful rights and interests of journalists. The ACJA tackles the more severe cases and entrusts other cases to local or specialized journalists’ associations. Measures for handling the cases usually include carrying out investigation, expressing support in public, interviewing the complainants to express solicitude, demanding compensation and apology from infringers, and urging punishment of offenders in accordance with the law. The ACJA registered 30 such complaints filed by news workers in 2012, and solved 80% of them by the end of that year. It received more than 100 complaints by phone, letter or visit in 2013, and solved 90% of them by the end of that year. In the same year, Yang Qiongwen, a journalist at the newspaper Nandao Evening News of Hainan Province, who had been forced to resign over his report of a sex scandal, was eventually reinstated with the intervention of the ACJA.
2. Launching the News Worker Aid Program. To protect the lawful activities of news workers, the ACJA started preparing for the launch of the News Worker Aid Program in 2012, and consulted all departments and units concerned on the formulation of the Measures for the Implementation of the News Worker Aid Program and the Measures for Accepting Public Donations for the News Worker Aid Program. On April 20, 2013 the ACJA launched the program as an emergency response to the magnitude-7 earthquake which hit Lushan, Sichuan Province, on that day and extended a total of 70,000 yuan in aid to journalists injured in the earthquake. The Measures for the Implementation of the News Worker Aid Program was formally issued on January 3, 2014.
3. Enacting the Measures for Conferring the National Title of Excellent Journalist. The ACJA issued this document on July 19, 2013 to standardize the conferment of the title of Excellent Journalist on news workers who have rendered outstanding services. Ceremonies were held in 2013 to award the title to CCTV journalist Zhai Shuyan and Haikou Broadcasting & Television Station journalist Qiu Hangliang, who had died at their posts.
4. Preparing the Measures for Extending Emergency Assistance to Journalists Covering Major Emergencies. In 2013 the ACJA convened the Journalists’ Forum on Reporting Earthquake Rescue and Relief Work and the Seminar on Reporting the Floods in Yuyao, which focused on the discussion about the ACJA’s timely involvement in reporting major emergencies and provision of emergency assistance. The ACJA is stepping up its efforts in formulating the Measures for Extending Emergency Assistance to Journalists Covering Major Emergencies.