Media convergence is the best way to boost news influence
The Dialogue with Yang Rui
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Last Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other members of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s Central Committee's Political Bureau visited the headquarters of the People's Daily in Beijing, the Party's flagship newspaper. 

President Xi spoke of an urgent need to boost integrated media development in the media. 

He encouraged all Party-owned media outlets to catch up with the new media era and hasten media convergence through the bold use of new technology, a new mechanism and new models to maximize and optimize the effectiveness of publicity. Xi also stressed efforts to amplify mainstream tone in public communication. 

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Professor Shi Anbin from the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University believes the “media convergence” President Xi stressed has a domestic background, specifically “the decline of legacy media”. 

“There were about 1,000 local newspapers closed last year and almost 200 TV channels also face a very hard situation. Globally we face a sharp decline of the legacy media as well." 

Harvey Dzodin, a senior fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization (CCG), also former vice president of ABC-TV in New York, made a metaphor when talking about media convergence with CGTN Dialogue.

He said, “in some ways what President Xi is done is to put old wine in new bottles - the new bottles are more bottles”. He described Xi's speech as a “2.0 version” of the talk he made three years ago. 

The last time Xi visited People's Daily was on February 19, 2016. Speaking at a symposium after touring People's Daily, the Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television, Xi told media groups to make use of new media's edge in publicity, amplify their voices on the international stage, tell stories about China well and build flagship media groups with strong global influence. 

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Concerning the booming new media industry, Dzodin indicated his concerns. “We thought that new media and social media would be a panacea…but it hasn't turned out that way. We're drowning in the information, now it's hard to tell fake news from real news…”

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