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Top 10 Terms Used By Chinese Media In 2014

Posted: 12/22/2014 10:00 am

rule of law2014 was the year that gave us My Little Apple, death cults, yet another incarnation of the Monkey King, the World Cup, and an airline that vanished out of thin air. But which one ranks as the most popular among Chinese media and the Internet?

As reported by China Daily, here’s another year-end list ranking the most frequently used words by the Chinese media in 2014:

  1. rule of law
  2. loss of communication
  3. Beijing APEC
  4. Ebola
  5. One Belt, One Road (referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21 Century Maritime Silk Road)
  6. Brazil World Cup
  7. Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Exchange connection program
  8. Occupy Central
  9. National Memorial Day
  10. Chang’E 5

The report also included the most frequently searched terms by Chinese internet users. The top domestic search term was “anti-corruption”, while the most popular international search term was “Malaysian Airlines”.

Photos: China Daily, Baidu


Chinese Reporters Banned from Writing or Contributing to Foreign Press

Posted: 07/10/2014 2:44 pm

The State Committee on Films and Broadcast Media (SCFBM) is cracking down on Chinese journalists. From now on, they will be forced to sign a contract that forbids them from writing or contributing to the foreign press, reports Caijing. The rule may also extend to posting material on social networks.

SCFBM says the new rule is designed to protect national secrets and copyright. In a recent interview with Caijing, the SCFBM added:

Recently, some industry workers have engaged in professional misconduct over the use of information, and have wantonly transferred and disseminated secret information, and have put this information attained through professional means on social media. Some industry workers have exploited their position or influence for inappropriate gain, leading to an illegal transgression. This behavior has disrupted the systematic broadcast of news, and has damaged the Party and national interests. To strengthen the information management of industry workers is to strengthen the establishment and preservation of the urgent requirements of systematic news broadcasting. This is also to guarantee the healthy development and promotion of domestic news.

The SCFBM then explained the requirements this law will make upon news industry workers:

First, in dealing with information related to national secrets, industry workers must abide by the “Preservation of National Secrets Law” and other regulations. They are forbidden to illegally copy, record, or store national secrets; forbidden to transmit national secrets in any way or form; forbidden to transmit this information as an individual. Secondly, in regards to information not classified as a national secret, newsrooms must establish a unified management system whereby a signed contract that forbids the transmitting of secrets by holding the person responsible. News industry personnel must abide by all these regulations. Workers can not work for other foreign media or websites, work as a “special correspondent“, special author or special columnist.

No specific details were given pertaining to what will happen to journalists who breach the new contract.


CCTV News to get a run for its money

Posted: 03/29/2011 10:21 am

It’s difficult at times to make-do with the programming provided on cable TV in Mainland China for your traditional, native English-speaking laowai. If you’re one of the lucky few with satellite TV, or live in a government-approved foreign compound (or serviced apartment), you likely have access to HBO, CNN, MTV and a host of other foreign televisions stations. For the rest of us, there’s CCTV News in English, and occasionally local newscasts on Guangdong Television or Guangzhou TV in Guangzhou. (Full disclosure: I worked as a news host at GZTV when it launched its now defunct “Guangzhou English Channel”. Yeah, the experiment didn’t work out too well…)

As someone who’s been heavily involved in China media both here in the PRD and up in Bejiing and Tianjin, I can tell you that Chinese television stations are experimenting with English shows: Tianjin TV had a Business Traveler program (also a show I hosted), Shanghai has an English channel, and other provincial-level and city-level channels are considering more English-language programming. Sadly, many of these experiments haven’t quite worked (see Tianjin TV, GZTV) because of a whole host of reasons. Generally-speaking, English language audiences don’t typically trust Chinese broadcasters, no matter what they say. Why? Because what they say is edited (and often censored) by people who must make sure that none of China’s sacred cows are touched. The result is a mish-mash of milquetoast programs that try and serve all audiences and end up serving nobody.

So it’s a breath of fresh air that Phoenix Satellite Television, which currently offers up Chinese news in Putonghua, is planning an English channel. For those unaware, Phoenix is partially owned by both the Chinese government and Rupert Murdoch, strange bedfellows to be sure (or… are they?). Nonetheless, Phoenix does a good job of covering news in China; so good, in fact, it’s only allowed to broadcast to Guangdong. For other regions in the country, only 3 star hotels or above, embassies, etc, can receive Phoenix. It’s much more polished than CCTV, and often has debates that discuss some of those sacred cows, like the Dalai Lama or Taiwan. It has a mainland slant, to be sure, but when you consider the current state of news in China, this is one giant leap in the right direction.

Phoenix likely isn’t the magic bullet that will break down foreigners’ scepeticism of any news coming out of the Community Party’s mouth. CEO of Phoenix Liu Changle admits it will be a challenge (from the Financial Times):

Mr Liu said his new venture would also be at risk of being seen as part of this propaganda push, but he insisted it was a purely commercial undertaking.

In its Chinese programming, Phoenix has sought to balance some daring reporting with programmes designed to please the political leadership.

The station will apparently focus on economic and financial news, and also contain some language programs as well (maybe Da Shan will be making an appearance).

Right now, the legitimate international news networks broadcasting in English are few: the BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera (which burnished its reputation with stellar reporting recently during the Japan earthquake). Britain is represented, America is represented, and the Middle East is represented. On this side of the world, there is NHK (which is very Japan-centric) and Channel News Asia, based in Singapore, which hasn’t quite got the resources to compete on a global level. As the second largest economy in the world, there is a voracious appetite for news and information coming from China – including a desire to understand China’s point of view – that can only come from a legitimate, fair, high-powered and professional international news organization. CCTV is definitely not it. Hopefully Phoenix can make it work.



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