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Mass Media Sharpen Edge With Internet

Mass media in China, combined with high-tech means, such as Internet, are stepping up efforts to compete with their overseas counterparts for support from the masses.

Popularity of Internet will make it easier for overseas news to flow into China. While at the same time, inaccurate information may mislead the Chinese people, said Yu Guoming, a professor of mass media with the People's University of China.

China's fast economic development has prompted its media closer to foreign countries. And Internet poses a convenient channel for the country's media to flow into Western countries, and a good opportunity to sharpen the competitive edge of its traditional mass media in the global market.

China Internet Network Information Center issued its latest statistics, saying that among the 22.5 million Chinese Internet users, over 60 percent would read news first.

Ding Guangen, head of Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called for all the mass media to develop Internet news and build an influential on-line publicity network in the country.

Nine competitive mass media units in Beijing joined hands in May last year setting up a news website "21dnn.com.cn.". So far, the main power in the section such as the People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, and China Daily have set up their own websites as well.

The provinces and municipalities of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Sichuan, and Shandong have also launched similar websites. Zhang Liqin, expert in Internet research, said all the efforts are in line with the global trend.

"The successful merger of America Online Inc. and Time-Warner has outlined the mass media competition in the new century," he said.

Last year, China issued regulations on supervision over Internet news, which has been a policy support for the traditional mass media's development in this regard.

Over 800 newspapers, TV and radio stations in the country have launched their own websites since 1995. Now, China has over 2,000 newspapers, over 4,000 TV and radio stations, and hundreds of magazines.

(Xinhua 02/28/2001)

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