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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

‘Everything App’ launched to train, guide Chinese journalists as Party propaganda ‘news workers’

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul04’23) – Truthfulness, accuracy and fact-based communications, independence, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, respect for others and public accountability are some of the principles guiding journalistic work in free democratic societies. But not so in China, where everything is subservient to the will of the party-state rulers. And if journalists in China are in any doubt on how to go about their business without falling foul of the party apparatchiks overseeing them, there is now an “everything App” to train and guide them.

The propaganda super-app, as described by chinamediaproject.org in a report Jul 4, was released just before the weekend by the All-China Journalists Association (ACJA), which is described as “Journalist’s Home ‘University Hall’”. This is a comprehensive online training platform that will be used not just to train journalists in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) press doctrine, but to track their progress and certify their training results, assisting with annual reviews and renewals of journalists’ press cards, the report said.

The report cited state media reports as saying the new app includes more than 220 separate courses in the Marxist View of Journalism, the set of concepts that define the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership and control of the media, and the fundamentally political role of the “news worker”.

“From this point forward, millions of journalists across the country can carry out training in the Marxist View of Journalism through the internet platform, which will play a positive role in educating and guiding journalists to concentrate their souls around Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” it quoted a news release from the ACJA and Xinhua News Agency as saying.

The app navigation is stated to include two basic sections, one on “foundational coursework”, which includes training in the tenets of Party press control and the leadership concepts of Xi Jinping, and another on “practical coursework”, which includes instructional videos from veteran Party journalists on key political and policy concepts.

The “practical coursework” section is said to include a study video with Xinhua journalist Zhang Yang explainingt how to better understand how you, as a state media journalist, can become an “influencer-style journalist”, meaning that you cultivate your personal influence across social media platforms — all in the interest, naturally, of being a better vehicle to “guide” public opinion. It is also said to include Lu Xin at the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) explaining how to safeguard “ideological security,” the foundation of which, you are reportedly told, is “political faith” in the ruling Party.

And recognizing that China is in the midst of a “smokeless war” with the West for dominance of global public opinion, the propaganda super-app is said to explain how you should, as a faithful Party journalist, take the battle to foreign social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook that formally speaking are off limits to your fellow Chinese nationals.

At a ceremony unveiling the app on June 30, He Ping, the head of the ACJA, has said that it would be crucial in “firming up the backbone” of journalists in China, and “arming their heads” with Xi Jinping’s governing concepts.

The report noted that the term “Journalist’s Home” has long been used to refer to the idea that the All-China Journalist’s Association might serve as the basis for a professional community of journalists in China, protecting their rights and interests. However, it pointed out, the primary role of the organization — like all Party-led professional and social organizations in China — is to enforce discipline and control within the community.

A 2021 report in the Party mouthpiece People’s Daily, discussing the ACJA’s continued identity as a “Journalist’s Home,” quoted a top official as saying the organization would “continue to unite and lead journalists in adhering to the correct political direction, and to [correct] guidance of public opinion,” the report added.


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