CHINA> Regional
People's Daily revamped
By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-06-16 08:27

After launching its first English language tabloid newspaper last month, the People's Daily plans to kick off its fourth revamp next month to increase its influence at home and abroad, the newspaper said Monday.

It will increase its daily publication pages from 16 to 20 pages on July 1 and beef up its 72 domestic and overseas branches.

The to-be-added news pages will mainly cover China news, international news, literary commentary and feature stories. The aim is to "better spread the central government's policies, report from both domestic and overseas fronts, strengthen the publication of the socialism theory with Chinese characteristics and Marxism literature theory," it said.

Founded in 1948 as the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the People's Daily is considered the most authoritative Chinese language newspaper with over 2 million readers in the country, according to its official website.

During the visit to the People's Daily last June, President Hu Jintao asked the newspaper to enhance its capabilities to communicate at home and abroad and develop into one of the world's top media groups.

On May 20, the newspaper launched an English-language tabloid newspaper named Global Times.

Media experts said that the newspaper is trying to consolidate its leading position with more diverse content and international news coverage.

"The People's Daily's actual influence on Chinese society has been falling in recent years due to the competition from other newspapers," Yu Guoming, vice-dean of the Renmin University School of Journalism and head of that university's Public Opinion Research Institute, told China Daily Monday.

"After powering up its overseas branches, it will become one of the major international news providers in the country so that China can have a stronger voice in international affairs."

These reforms followed the overseas media's report on China's big spending on its media organizations to "befit its growing status" earlier this year.

In this ambitious media revamp plan, China will pour in 45 billion yuan ($6.6 billion) to develop three main media outlets, China Central Television (CCTV), Xinhua News Agency and the People's Daily newspaper.

Xinhua plans to increase its overseas bureaus and set up a 24-hour TV news channel. And CCTV will add Arabic and Russian-language news services this year in addition to its Chinese, English, French and Spanish channels, according to South China Morning Post.

"The expansion of major media outlets is inevitable because it is one of the country's major strategies to strengthen the country's global influence," he said.