Use my personal experience to tell you: how does work in China’s state-run media look like?

Before I came to London, I was an international news editor in China’s state-run news organization Xinhua News Agency. I spent two years working for the Korean edition website, and got a deep understanding about how does the country’s media operate. Now let me save my words and give you more details that you want.

Usually my day started at 8:30am. From 8:30 to 9:00 my colleagues needed to collect the topics to cover for the whole day and report our top stories to the chief editor in our department. Then chief editors from all departments gathered for an editorial meeting and came back to assign missions and convey orders from our supervisors at 10:30. In this way they could make sure staff at every level would understand the news agenda.

The Korean edition website of Xinhua is more like a propaganda tool to Korean speakers than a news site. There are several topics we definitely need to cover: our leaders’ latest speeches and activities; analytical articles that advocate the government’s policies; positive reactions to China from western world; and the government’s new attitude towards Korean Peninsula.

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(President Xi paid a visit to Xinhua News Agency last year and had a video call with a journalist during his visit. Picture/Getty Images)

It seems pretty easy, but not really in fact. You can always find traps during working which could make you make mistakes. For instance, at the beginning of this year, one editor from another department picked an article about North Korea to display and got North Korean’s attention. The article was about something really not important that I could barely remember now, but it was negative towards North Korea. The embassy to China made a complaint about the article and the editor was sacked at the end.

This perfectly explained our job. You can report what the supervisors have ordered you to do and you have the proper range of freedom to decide what you want to do. But if your work offended authorities or policies, you need to pay for it.

Next time I will share you with some experience about how the authorities trained journalists and editors in the country and how this influenced the propaganda system.

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After 74 killed in the construction collapse in China: the reason and the solution

(China’s state-run media People’s Daily reported the accident on twitter)

The collapse of a platform in an unfinished tower of a power plant in East China on Thursday has caused 74 dead, 2 wounded.

The platform was built for a cooling tower of a coal power plant under construction in Jiangxi Province.

China Tower Collapse

(Photo by Li Jinjun)

A team led by Yang Huanning, head of China’s State Administration of Work Safety has been formatted to investigate the accident in Jiangxi.

Gao Shichao, a project department staff from the contractor of the power plant told the media that the accident “may be caused by the strength of concrete which is not standard”.  He explained that to complete the construction before rush deadline, the workers might have removed the scaffold around the tower too early before the concrete was totally drought. As the concrete started to fall off, the platform finally collapsed. Yet his remarks have not been verified.

Such accidents is not unusual in China. According to China Labour Bulletin (CLB), a non-government organization that aims at promoting and defending workers’ right in China, there were 265 accidents happened in China from June to December this year. Yet the government has never come up with a radical measure to improve this situation.

[Infographic] See more details about the 265 work accidents in China from June to December on CLB: http://maps.clb.org.hk/accidents/en

Defining this as ‘extreme major accident’, the Chinese government has gathered a national teleconference and urged safety watchdogs in the country to launch through work safety checking to plug the holes in safety standards on Sunday.

Attendees to the meeting agreed that lessons should be learned from recent accidents, and cited other areas in need of more attention for work safety such as construction sites, coal mines, traffic, dangerous chemicals, fireworks, power and heating supply sectors.

The call was made at a meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet. Attendees to the meeting include Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai, State Councilor Guo Shengkun, State Councilor Wang Yong, and local authorities of Jiangxi Province.

The contractor, Hebei Yineng Tower Engineering Co. Ltd. has offered 1.2 million yuan (140 thousand pounds) to each victim’s family. Some have signed the compensation contracts.

Will a Trump presidency mean tragedy to China?

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(Image by Liu Xiaotian)

As United States’ president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team shaping, the world has become more and more curious about his foreign policy.

No country has been hit more than China during his campaign. From climate change hoax to threatening a higher import tax from China, Trump made it clear he will not treat China as nice as Russia.

But it seems like China is not so negative about a Trump presidency. President Xi was among the first leaders to send Mr Trump congratulations for his victory. In his message, Mr Xi referred China and the United States as the world’s top economies, said he hoped they could work together to expand China-U.S. cooperation in every field.

Some experts consider Mr Trump’s ‘America first’ policy will give China a great opportunity to gain its place on international stage. Dr. Wu Xinbo, chief executive of America Studies Center at Fudan University in China, pointed out that as a business man, Mr Trump would mostly think for economic side.

‘He should have realized that being a leader of the world would cost America a lot, thus I think he will restrain America’s interference in Europe and East Asia, he will let allies pay more and take more responsibilities. This could give China more opportunities to develop its own relations in these areas’, he said.

Although Mr Trump has threatened to target China for several times, many Chinese people still caught a different vibe. This week a video of Mr Trump’s granddaughter, Ivanka Trump’s daughter Arabella Kushner reciting Chinese poetry went viral on China’s social network.

(Video from Cai Wenjing/Weibo)

A lot of Chinese online users thought if he has let his granddaughter learn Chinese, it meant he had already taken China seriously. They believe with such attention, the president-elect will not make any reckless decision on China.