BEIJING: President Hu Jintao promised Friday China will continue to make government affairs public and enhance information distribution, and at the same time he called on news media to uphold social responsibilities.
Chinese President Hu Jintao addresses the opening ceremony of the World Media Summit at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on October 9, 2009. The two-day summit, hosted by Xinhua News Agency, opened here Friday morning. [Xinhua]
Media organizations should promote the "true, correct, comprehensive and objective communication of information," Hu said in a keynote speech at the World Media Summit at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.
With the media's growing influence, "it is more important than ever before that the media should establish and uphold social responsibilities," he said.
Hu pledged the Chinese government will safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of foreign news media and continue to facilitate foreign media coverage of China in accordance with the law.
He called on global media to promote world peace and development, and to contribute to building a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.
About 300 representatives from more than 170 media outlets from around the globe gathered in Beijing Friday to discuss the seismic shifts and challenges in the industry at the World Media Summit (WMS).
The World Media Summit, launched by Xinhua and eight other world media organizations, attracted leading wire services, radio and television broadcasters, newspapers and magazines, and on-line media from around the world.
Under the theme of "Cooperation, Action, Win-Win and Development," the summit has been in an effort to help global media explore ways of survival and development in time of the current economic downturn and changing landscape of the media industry, said Li Congjun, President of Xinhua News Agency.
Li said the world's media must always adhere to their social responsibility and the role in improving public welfare despite challenges from the financial crisis and information technologies.
The social responsibility topic was discussed by several other media organizations.
Director General of Russian news agency Itar-Tass Vitaly Nikitich Ignatenko said mass media needed moral guidelines to prevent from disseminating ideas of extremism, terrorism, xenophobia and racial intolerance to counteract the modern threats and challenges.
"We believe the media have a social responsibility to promote world peace by sharing news and information about everyday events and by furthering mutual understanding in a way that goes beyond the limits of countries and regions," said President of Kyodo News Satoshi Ishikawa.
Editor-in-Chief of Reuters David Schlesinger stressed the media's role in promoting a healthy market economy by providing transparency against the backdrop of global financial crisis.
Schlesinger said the role of financial media was central to delivering the objectives of informed and transparent financial markets, as well as the social stability that depends upon economic success.
COPING WITH CHALLENGES
Major media houses also discussed how to cope with challenges in the digital era.
According to the world's search engine giant Google, a co-sponsor of the WMS, the Internet has changed the world profoundly over the past 10 years -- 2 billion people now search information online every day and 100 billion non-spam emails and instant messages were sent every day.
All news organizations face the same mission -- get all the way across the burning bridge from analog to digital journalism and to make the difficult choices that this crossing presents, said Associated Press President and CEO Thomas Curley.
Chairman and CEO of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch said media organizations should "adapt and adopt" as they were confronted by "unprecedented change and challenge" amid a digital revolution.
"Media companies know that if you do not respond intelligently and creatively to the digital challenge, your future will be bleak indeed,"
Murdoch said global media had been "submissive" as the flat-earthers insisted that all news content on the Internet should be free.
Curley called on news providers to find breakthroughs to common challenges and become "game-changers."
To give an example, he said an arc was introduced onto the basketball court in 1986, which immediately changed the game as teams were rewarded with three points for successes behind the new line.
"The small changes drive real innovation," Curley said.
Jeffrey Gralnick, an NBC News special consultant, called on media houses to "think small in big ways" when tackling the current challenges.