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Media’s role matters more in transition
Global Times | 2013-11-8 0:18:01
By Global Times
November 8 is China's Journalists' Day, but this year's festivities have been dampened by recent incidents. The revealing of journalist Chen Yongzhou of the New Express accepting bribes to author false reports did incalculable harm to journalists' reputations, exposing flaws in the industry as well as the difficulties it faces.
Being a journalist was once considered to be a glorious career. However, the market-oriented shift and popularization of the Internet have caused profound changes to the media's survival environment. Most present-day media people, especially reporters, are young and the majority are female. With most media outlets being part of the free market, the industry sees a rapid flow of talent.
The School of Journalism at Fudan University takes the lead in China's journalism education. Graduates of class 2005 are in their 30s now. However, over half have left the media circle. This situation is the epitome of China's media industry.
Media professionals need incentivized salary, room for career growth and social respect to keep proficient reporters. Unfortunately, all three elements are far from ideal. The income of journalists is only in the secondary level of society, increasing at a slower pace than the country's average.
Traditional media is viewed as a declining industry due to sliding business income. This predicament had definitely affected those in the media. It's noteworthy that the media assumes a bigger role in China's transition period. It is a power which could drive China's reform, a guardian of the people's and nation's interests, as well as a major force of public supervision. It's also a prime platform to interpret the Party's lines, principles and policies, connecting the Party and the people.
Despite numerous difficulties lying ahead, the media is one of the most active forces in China, yelling for equality and justice while fighting to expose evils. Without the contribution of the media and its professionals, Chinese society would not have been so diversified, lively and full of vitality.
Admittedly, the industry is mired in some problems. Society now assumes that it has been a rule that journalists do fixed interviews and take bribes. The media's credibility is ebbing. But we cannot deny the profession's contributions to China's reform and progress.
Society needs to give more support to the media industry. The relevant authorities should cooperate to cultivate more qualified media outlets rather than blindly blaming or manipulating the media for their own interests. Society should also create more favorable conditions for media so the young can help stabilize the industry. China's journalists are bound to work on the frontline of the reform. Don't ignore their difficulties and please give them due respect and encouragement, they will live up to their mission.