China / Cover Story

Spread the news - this story will run and run

By Jiang Xueqing and Zhang Lei (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-13 08:44

He emphasized that the traditional media unit will still hold a controlling interest in the post-integration operations.

In 2013, China National Radio's operating revenue was 1.7 billion yuan. However, less than half of that figure, 800 million yuan, came from advertising; the station's shopping channel generated 700 yuan million, and new media contributed a further 200 million yuan.

"In the process of integrating with new media, we insisted on keeping the rights to program content. By keeping that in our hands, we have nothing to fear from large new-media companies," Wang Qiu said.

Changes in content

However, changes to the business model are bound to prompt changes in content to facilitate adaptation to new forms of media. According to Ma Li, one of the deputy editors-in-chief of People's Daily, traditional media should use any possible means to attract audiences by providing "down to earth" content via the latest new media and up to date tools.

In its attempt to achieve a deeper integration of print and new media, People's Daily has encountered many setbacks. According to Chen Junhong, another of the newspaper's deputy editors-in-chief, the biggest problem is that the print version of the newspaper and its website work independently.

"Now we have to integrate the two, so that our news production is done in a 'central kitchen'. In the future, we will unify our resources in the kitchen, and then distribute our different, individualized content to various channels - the newspaper, our website, other media and micro blogs. Our vision is to establish a comprehensive, multi-media, 24-hour newsroom," he said.

Much of the pessimism surrounding the future of traditional outlets is misguided, according to Cheng of the Chinese Television Artists' Association. "Although we have entered an age of advanced new media, traditional media should not be afraid. New media outlets shouldn't automatically assume that their wider scope of coverage means they are bound to beat traditional media. This competition makes no sense. Instead, media people around the world should use new-media tools to improve their output and thereby ensure longevity."

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