BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- An article by Li Congjun appeared in Wednesday's edition of the People's Daily, flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), stressing the role of mainstream media in guiding public opinion.
The article by the President of Xinhua News Agency echoed Chinese President Xi Jinping's call at a national conference on the publicity and ideology in Beijing on Aug. 19 and 20, for greater initiative in publicity and ideological work to ensure "correct political direction."
As new media develops rapidly and the Internet has become the major source of information for many, young people in particular, Li called on mainstream media outlets to take the initiative in leading public opinion in new media.
He said that despite efforts in new media development, the overall understanding of new media is insufficient, and mainstream media's use of new media is weak.
Mainstream media lack voices and influence in new media platforms. "If we (mainstream media) cannot effectively rule new media, the ground will be taken by others, which will pose challenges to our dominant role in leading public opinion," the article read.
Li suggested that newspapers, journals, wire services, radio and televisions run by the CPC should hasten their pace in digitalization and developing Internet and mobile products, so as to give full play to mainstream media outlets in directing public opinion, especially on new media platforms.
Meanwhile, Li called for mainstream media to spread China's voice louder in the world to gain the initiative in international communication.
"Overall, global opinions are still dominated by western media outlets, China's capacity to make its own voice heard fails to match its international standing," Li wrote.
Particularly, Li went on, some hostile forces in the west hate to see a prospering socialist China, targeting separation efforts and "color revolution" at China, and trumpeting "China threat" and "China collapse" theories aided by some western media outlets.
He called on mainstream Chinese media to refute western media's untruthful reports, and instead, ensure the stories of China are well told.
Additionally, Li noted that it has become an ever-more arduous task to effectively direct public opinion as social mentality and thoughts diversify and clash from time to time.
Therefore, Li argued, in order to gain dominance in leading public opinion, mainstream media need to innovate, now more than ever.