China / Society

Full text: Development of china's news media in 2015

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-29 11:20


★Case One: People's Daily Explores New Mechanism for Integrated Development

In recent years, People's Daily has directed equal attention to the development of both traditional and new media. It is transforming itself from a newspaper producer into a new mainstream omni-media and media group with over ten platforms and hundreds of terminals, including newspaper, magazines, website, web TV, webcast, electronic board, mobile news, Weibo, and WeChat apps. People's Daily now has 30 branch newspapers and periodicals, 44 websites, 118 Weibo accounts, 31 mobile phone apps and 20,000 electronic reading boards. According to estimate, its total subscribers have surpassed 300 million.

In 2014, People's Daily established a meeting system for integrated development of traditional and new media to study how to coordinate its work in this respect and work out corresponding plans in accordance with central government's policies and the bigger picture of media development. By fully exploiting its omni-media platform, it has innovated its production chain of content planning, information gathering, editing and release to introduce a model in which news, once edited, is released on a variety of platforms. It is expanding its coverage by posting information on its Weibo and WeChat accounts and its mobile phone apps. Its influence and content building is strengthened by giving full play to its traditional strength of delivering in-depth reports, comments and opinion.

Its omni-media platform project, as the prerequisite and the strategic engine for boosting integrated development, is designed to realize the connectivity of news resources and business transformation and upgrading. The platform includes an omni-media news hall, a news production and management system, a news supermarket, and cloud services for media convergence. Among these, the omni-media news hall functions as both the project core, and the command and control center for news production. The news production and management system focuses on rebuilding the production flow. The news supermarket aims to share the editorial staff, content resources and distribution channels of media under People's Daily and other national mainstream media, and its cloud services platform is committed to offering media convergence services to all kinds of media. Through optimizing its platform, improving the production process, integrating resources, readjusting the target subscribers, better management and decision making, and an innovative business model, it plans to boost its influence and profitability. In March 2014, People's Daily Media Innovation was founded with a commitment to cultivating first-class and core teams for media technology in China.

(1) "Central Kitchen Style" Working Mechanism Starts Trial Operation

Based on the omni-media platform, this working mechanism integrates editorial forces and news resources to make news planning, gathering, editing and reporting an organic whole, to be broadcast on multiple platforms. It is done through a work flow offering differentiated contents, story-style news, and visualized data. Following the two sessions in 2014, People's Daily started trial operation of this working mechanism. The trials and errors in experimenting with and exploring this new mechanism, in introducing new technology, and creating new products, offer valuable examples for full integration of contents, channels and platforms.

The "central kitchen style" platform has three teams responsible for coordination and promotion, content and visual products, respectively. These responsibilities are taken by liaisons, salesmen, servers and programmers to ensure that news, once edited, is released on a variety of platforms. Liaisons, or the coordinating group, contact and communicate information between reporters, editors, newspapers, websites, Weibo and WeChat accounts and apps through editorial software, WeChat group, phone and email to realize resource integration and improve efficiency. The sales staff, or marketing group, send news on the "central kitchen platform" to all its channels and apps, and then promote them to over 100 partner media units nationwide to cover as many terminals as possible and maximize its communication value. The servers, or content-making team, provide dedicated services to reporters and help them to produce a variety of political news. On average, one reporter is supported by four editors to optimize resource allocation and improve efficiency. The editors help design and coordinate in the early stage, and give deeper analysis and reprocess the news. Programmers, also the team for visualization, apply HTML5 (H5 hereinafter) to visualize these news items and turn them into news that is transmissible by internet and enables viewer participation.

At the two sessions in 2015, for example, the omni-media platform of People's Daily released 118 news products of different types, 60 of which were reports on the work of the Standing Committee of the CPC Political Bureau, of which 35 were first published. A series of exclusive and in-depth reports, pictures, charts, videos and H5 products produced an extensive and better impact.

Before each major political activity, the "central kitchen" platform designs a menu in advance for producing quality news, which are produced according to three criteria. First, speed. While adhering to a strict review procedure, journalists and editors, through seamless connection, try to ensure the first release of news flashes on new media channels. Second, comprehensive. The report presents all related news facts and background by digging to the core of the political activity, combing historical materials, and summing up policy essence. Third, in-depth. The report gives an in-depth analysis of news topics while reviewing that day's activity and historical facts to explain concepts of governance behind the activity. Through progressive analysis, the effect of reports achieves the best possible coverage of the two sessions.

Efficient and wide-ranging news coverage results from close and tacit cooperation between reporters and follow-up teams, and an optimized news production and distribution line featuring integrated resources and uninterrupted channels. During the two sessions in 2015, the omni-media "central kitchen" platform of the People's Daily released dozens of exclusive and in-depth reports like "Six Clues to Tell Xi Jinping's Highlights This Year," "Understanding Four Comprehensives — Further Analysis by Four High Officials," "Li Keqiang's Attitude to Power Use," "Xi Jinping's Four Concerns at the Two Sessions." These articles, prepared with foresight and vision, are profound without being opaque, and the new media language style and expression help to hold a great appeal to a large readership and are widely reprinted.

(2) Big Data and Use of Visual Resources

The arrival of the big data era requires the media to pay close attention to tapping, analysis and use of data resources. The data center of People' Daily in the making aims at building on omni-media platform technology to pool information resources from all channels and form a resource database capable of storage, integration and backup. The databank shares data resources through standardizing data format among different departments and analyzes related data to provide vertical and in-depth information services. Based on integration and analysis with big data thinking and technology, it incubates information services for media, finance, culture, health and advertising. It is exploring a mechanism to combine data and visualization — reporting news with the help of charts, maps or interactive tools to visualize the story and make it concise, interesting and interactive, so as to better communicate with the audience.

Since the establishment of the "central kitchen style" omni-media platform, H5 interactive media products have become a hot item in its reporting. It is now recruiting design and technical staff to build its technology team. During the two sessions in 2015, the platform released 18 interesting and highly interactive H5 products by combining ingenious contents, big data analysis, and H5 technology. According to server statistics, less than 48 hours after the release of "Secret of Seats Arrangement for NPC Deputies," access requests surpassed 20 million, and page views over 1.2 million. "Questions for the Premier" had over 7 million access requests and over 2 million page views. In addition, reports like "Decipher the Statistics in the Government Work Report," "How Are CPPCC Members Recommended?" "My Question for Ministers," and "Red Envelope from the Premier," all had several million access requests and hundreds of thousands of page views.

During the Bo'ao Forum for Asia 2015, the illustrated news reports and H5 products released by the omni-media center of People's Daily were concise and entertaining. "One Chart Tells You All about 2015 Bo'ao Forum for Asia" which highlights the theme, participants and other basics, for example, was reprinted by more than ten online media. "Seeking Fortune on the Silk Road" and "Xi Jinping's Speech Essence at Bo'ao Forum" were read 26,000 and 25,500 times respectively. The interactive game "Guess Who's Coming to Bo'ao" was largely transmitted on WeChat platform. In July 2015, "How Many Anti-Japanese Battlefields Do You Know?" released by the omni-media center was read over one million times.

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