China launches fresh round of “Three-Points” indocrination for media professionals

According to a report by Beijing Youth Daily, the first session of this year’s traveling “Three-Points Study and Education Campaign” (三项学习教育活动), an indoctrination drive designed to “educate” journalists in their obligations as well-behaved members of China’s state-controlled news industry, went off swimmingly in Beijing on May 13. As it only could, of course.

The training event, which features speeches by news reporters and officials, will travel on to Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing as well as cities in the provinces of Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong, Hubei, Sichuan and Gansu. The event is organized by the Central Propaganda Department, the Education Ministry, the All-China Journalists Association and News Frontline (新闻战线), a media policy magazine published by the party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

The “Three-Points” campaign was first launched in October 2003 with an announcement sent out by the Central Propaganda Department, GAPP, SARFT and the official All-China Journalists Association. It said News Frontline would launch a campaign to educate journalists in 1) [former President] Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents”, 2) the Marxist view of journalism and 3) professional spirit and ethics (SEE: “中宣部等通知: 新闻战线开展三个代表学习”, CCTV International Website, October 28, 2003). If there was any doubt about the nature of “professional spirit”, the announcement spelled it out. News professionals would learn “from the first to last, to support the [Communist] Party-nature of the news, support placing ‘guidance of public opinion’ [rigorous news control] before all else, support ‘serving the people’ and serving socialism …” The training would also “make further steps to strengthen political awareness [of the Party-line], a sense of responsibility [to the Party-line], loudly singing the dominant [Party] strain (唱响主旋律)” etc., etc.

One focus of the “Three-Points” campaign has lately been poor ethics in the Chinese media, targeting such things as “fake news” and “news extortion”. The campaign’s approach, however, is ideological and does not address the institutional causes of such behavior.

At a People’s Daily Online page dedicated to news about the “Three-Points” campaign, the banner running along the top reads: “Strengthening the ‘Three-Points Study and Education Campaign’ to Build Up the Correct View of News [Work] (新闻观)”. The site is dedicated to official policy pronouncements on the work of news professionals as an arm of China’s party-state structure, and to profiles of model figures in Chinese journalism.

Speaking during the May 13 session in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhang Yanping said that only by “deeply loving your mother country and the people, keeping after interviews and putting your heart into interviewing and writing, could you move yourself (感动自己) in the reporting process and move society with your news reports (用新闻报道感动社会)”, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

[Posted by David Bandurski, May 15, 2006, 6:04pm]

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