把握好新闻工作的基点 —福建宁德地委书记习近平谈新闻工作
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Grasping the Basis of Journalism ——Xi Jinping, Secretary of Fujian Ningde Prefectural Party Committee, Talks about Journalism

把握好新闻工作的基点 —福建宁德地委书记习近平谈新闻工作

This piece summarizes a speech Xi Jinping gave on what he sees as the proper role of journalism when he was the Secretary of the Ningde Prefecture Party Committee in 1989. In the speech, Xi encourages Party organizations at all levels to strengthen their leadership over journalism, since the media can facilitate the Party and socialist cause by “publiciz[ing] achievements confidently” and serving a “supervision function” to expose corruption.


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In mid-May, a news conference was held in Ningde, Fujian Province. At the conference, Xi Jinping, secretary of the Ningde Prefecture Party Committee, shared many views on how to grasp the basic points of current news work. His views are very inspiring to us journalists and are specially organized for our readers.

5月中旬, 福建省宁德地区召开新闻工作会议,宁德地委书记习近平在会上会下,就当前新闻工作如何把握好基点等问题谈了许多看法。他的观点对我们新闻工作者很有启发,特予整理以飨读者。

With calm analysis and thinking, recognize the current situation

冷静分析思考 认清当前形势

Xi Jinping believes that at present, it is necessary to further strengthen the understanding of the status and role of journalism and to further strengthen the Party’s leadership over journalism. Raising awareness and strengthening leadership must be carried out in light of the current situation. Journalism must grasp the pulse of the times and recognize the tasks and responsibilities entrusted to us by the current situation. The achievements of the ten-year reform are enormous, but it also faces many difficulties and problems. On the one hand, journalism cannot be conservative, ignoring reform with deaf ears to every voice. On the other hand, you cannot copy what others say. At present, there are various social trends of thought. We should think calmly through our own minds and not be dominated by the ephemeral. It takes time to calmly analyze and judge affairs, and rushing to make judgments often leads to a one-sided or even wrong conclusion. Judging from some of the problems currently reflected, it does seem necessary to speed up the process of democracy and the construction of the legal system. As for how to accelerate and to what extent, there are certain scientific implications. Otherwise, democracy will be absolutized, premature, and separated from the current stage. In that case, what was originally very reasonable may become a very wrong thing.

当前要进一步加强党对新闻工作的领导。而提高认识、加强领导,要结合当前的形势来进行。新闻工作要把握时代的脉搏,要认识到当前形势所赋予我们的任务、职责。十年改革的成绩是巨大的,但也面临着许多困难和问题。新闻工作一方面不能抱残守缺,不思改革,对于各种呼声置若罔闻;另一方面又不能人云亦云,不加辨别地跟着各种思潮跑,没有一个界限。不然,就会乱套。对当前的各种社会思潮,我们要冷静地通过自己的头脑去思考,不能受随意性的支配。冷静分析判断是需要时间的,急于做出判断往往会得出一个片面的,甚至是错误的结论。从当前反映的一些问题来看,民主进程、法制建设进程确实有必要加快。但是如何加快,加快到什么程度,是要有一定科学步骤的,如果把民主绝对化了、超前化了,脱离了一定的阶段性,那么本来是非常合理的要求,就可能成为一种非常错误的东西了。

What is democracy? Democracy cannot be defined in general terms. Democracy in a socialist country, I personally understand, should be a legal embodiment of the interests of the people. It is not the will of a certain class or certain people or any of the demands of any one class. Demanding extremes from others or the country is in itself a demand of others to be democratic to oneself while one does not have any sense of accountability or responsibility. This is unacceptable.

什么是民主?不能笼统地喊民主。作为社会主义国家的民主,我个人理解,应该是人民利益的一种法制化的体现,而不是某一个阶层、某些人的随意性,也不是满足任何一些人、任何一个阶层提出的任何一个要求。极端化地去要求别人或者要求国家,其实就是只要求别人对自己民主,而自己则可以不受任何的约束,对别人和国家不负任何的责任,这行得通吗?!如果别人也照此办理,如果大家都要求享有这样的民主,你做得到吗?!显然不行。因为你在赋予某人或某些人享有这样的民主的同时,不仅失去了自己的民主权利,而且剥夺了其他人的民主权利。

Just imagine, if people can do whatever they want, deciding not to engage in family planning and foregoing the task of requisitioning, would this work? Therefore, democracy itself cannot be absolute. It must have certain constraints. At the same time, democratic requirements are also phased and cannot be premature. We now have a phased approach to the cultivation of democratic qualities and the training of democracy. This is the current state of democracy. Can it be used maturely? Let us discuss the election of village committees. Discuss this use of democracy. Some places have done well, knowing how to plan well for the family with the ability to serve the fundamental interests of the village people. In some places, good clan elders are chosen. This has resulted in a paralyzed and semi-paralyzed state in rural grassroots organizations. Therefore, when we ask any question, we should not abandon its premise, background, or certain conditions. Otherwise, it will be difficult to even discuss such things. Is the Cultural Revolution not a specimen of the Great Democracy? This kind of “great democracy” is not instilled with science or the legal system, but rather with superstition and ignorance, and the result was a great turmoil. Anyone can organize a few people to raid their homes, and anyone can band together a fighting team. Today, you defeat me, and tomorrow, I defeat you. Can such hard times be repeated? Without stability and unity, nothing would be possible. The problem of democracy can only be solved on the track of the legal system.

试想一下,如果人们想干什么就干什么,不搞计划生育,取消国家税收,解散军队、警察,直至打开监狱,放出囚犯,冲破任何工作准则和生活约束,你的民主、你的安全还有保障吗?难道可以这样做吗?所以民主本身不能是绝对化的,它要有一定的约束。同时民主的要求也是有阶段性的,不能超前化。我们现在对民主素质的培养、民主管理的训练,也有一个阶段性。比如当前的这个民主,是不是都能成熟地运用?就说村民委员会选举吧,民主运用得怎样呢?有的地方不错,他知道自己要选一个好的当家人,能够为本村群众的根本利益服务;有的地方则选老好人、宗族长老,造成农村基层组织出现瘫痪状态。所以说,我们提任何问题都不要离开它的前提,不要离开一定背景,不要离开一定的条件。否则,就没有任何问题,也没有任何结论。“文化大革命”不就是“大民主”的标本吗?这种“大民主”,没有跟科学结合、跟法制结合,而是跟迷信结合、跟愚昧结合,结果就是大动乱。谁都可以组织几个人去抄家,谁都可以拉起一个战斗队,今天你打倒我,明天我打倒你,这样的日子能够重演吗?没有安定团结,一切都谈不上!因此,民主的问题要在法制的轨道上加以解决。

There is also the issue of corruption, which is the most likely to stir righteous indignation. It should be said that every honest journalist and every person with a conscience speaks volumes about corruption and righteous indignation. This issue, however, has to be dealt with calmly. Now, we must not merely rage against corruption. Rather, we must reach a practical solution to corruption. Some criticize corruption, while simultaneously enjoying certain privileges. It can be seen that, from delivery to cremation, transactions may occur at every stage of life, and there may be unhealthy trends. What power can we give to our stethoscope for corruption? However, even it can also generate transactions, as can the steering wheel. This problem deserves our deep thought, and it is worth our in-depth analysis to explore the reasons and reach an effective solution. Otherwise, the problem becomes oversimplified.

还有腐败问题,这最容易引起大家的义愤。应该说我们每一个正直的新闻工作者,每一个有良知的人,谈起腐败,其义愤都是溢于言表的。但是这个问题也要冷静对待。现在我们不仅需要对腐败有愤怒感,而且需要拿出一套解决腐败的实际办法。有的人在抨击腐败的同时,他本身也在享受某种特权。可以看到,从接生到火葬,每一个环节都可能发生交易,都可能出现不正之风。听诊器并没有权啊!但它也可以产生交易。汽车上的方向盘也可以产生交易。这个问题值得我们深思,值得我们去加以深层地分析,探析其原因。然后,找出有效的解决办法。否则就把问题看简单了。

To grasp the pulse of the times and understand the role of news, we must realize that news is the mouthpiece of the Party and the people, and it is responsible for the important task of reflecting and guiding public opinion. Our Party has always had a tradition of using newspapers, radio, television, and other propaganda tools to publicize the Party’s line, principles, and policies, to educate the people, to reflect the people’s voice, to promote righteousness, to expose negative and corrupt phenomena, and to mobilize and organize the masses to participate in the socialist construction cause. The Party spirit we emphasize contains the profound connotation of the people’s very nature. Journalists must not only publicize the Party’s propositions but also fully reflect the people’s wishes and demands, so as to unify the two. As a science, journalism is closely related to politics. However, it does not mean that news can be equated with politics, and it does not mean that its authenticity can be ignored for political needs. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize the Party nature of news work, but not to ignore the regularity of news work itself.

新闻工作者要把握时代的脉搏,认识新闻的作用,要看到新闻事业是党和人民的喉舌,担负着反映舆论、引导舆论的一个重要任务。我们党历来有一个传统,就是通过运用报纸、广播、电视等宣传工具,宣传党的路线、方针、政策,教育人民,反映人民的呼声,弘扬正气,揭露消极腐败现象,动员组织广大群众投身社会主义建设事业。我们强调的党性,包含着人民性的深刻内涵。我们党是代表人民利益的党,她没有独立于人民利益的自身利益。但我们党既代表人民的眼前利益,也代表人民的长远利益;既代表人民的局部利益,也代表人民的全局利益;党的路线、方针、政策,党对每一件事情的看法和主张,应该说就是人民愿望、要求的充分体现,就是人民的看法和主张。现在的问题是,人民比较容易理解眼前和局部愿望、要求的实现,对自身周围发生的事情也容易与党的看法和主张贴近、认同;但在自身长远和全局利益的理解上,由于各个局部的人群不十分了解全局的状况,由于群众中个体的教育水平、觉悟程度、工作岗位、地域地理、年龄层次等等因素的不同,“春兰秋菊不同时”,其看法、主张与我们党的看法、主张可能会产生距离,出现差异。我想,我们的新闻工作者应该更多地起到渠道和桥梁的作用,长期地、耐心地、孜孜不倦地向人民宣传党的路线、方针、政策,解释党对事物的主张和看法,让人民了解党和国家的大事,使党的看法、主张化为人民群众自觉自愿的行动。

At present, China’s reform is in a critical period. The mentality of the people is diverse, and there is constant friction among the various interests. As for how to solve these problems, a very important point is to give full play to the role of the news media in propagating reform and propagating the Party’s policies. Reform is a great social practice, and the news media must timely and accurately convey the Party and government’s principles, policies, and various information in the process of implementation, prompting Party organizations and governments at all levels to correct deviations in a timely manner such that the reform will be more direct and spur healthier growth. As for some vague awarenesses that exist in the masses, news media should be guided to alleviate conflicts in communication between the Party, the government, and the people and in ideological understandings between people in different regions. We must improve people’s understanding and support for reform and guide people’s thoughts and actions to “One Center, Two Basic Points” so as to guide to the great historical mission of “realizing the four modernizations and revitalizing China.” It should be affirmed that journalism has written a glorious page in the ten-year reform, made great contributions to the reform and opening up, and made great efforts as an important part of the Party’s development of political advantages. Being good at using news tools to promote work is actually a manifestation of leadership and modern working methods. The connection between leaders and the people comes in nothing more than two forms: One is mystical, and the other is open. Mystification is often associated with feudalism, closure, and economic backwardness; openness is often associated with a high degree of civilizational progress. Party organizations at all levels in our region should attach great importance to news work and effectively strengthen their leadership over news work.

新闻学作为一门科学,与政治的关系很密切。但不是说新闻可以等同于政治,不是说为了政治需要可以不要它的真实性,所以既要强调新闻工作的党性,又不可忽视新闻工作自身的规律性。

In the near future, we should be good at using relatively modern media means to vigorously develop local newspapers, radio, and television stations. We must further improve the system of press conferences. In the spirit of doing more practical things for news work and doing what we can, we should gradually help news organizations solve problems such as funding, staffing, vehicles, office locations, housing, equipment, and treatment.

当前我国改革正处于关键的时期,人们的思想心态是多种多样的,各种利益关系不断地发生摩擦。如何解决这些问题,很重要的一点,就是要充分发挥新闻媒介宣传改革、宣传党的政策的作用。改革是一场伟大的社会实践,新闻媒介要及时、准确地传递党和政府的方针、政策,捕捉和反映方针、政策执行过程中的各种信息,促使各级党组织、政府及时修正偏差,使改革少走弯路,更加健康地发展;对于群众中存在的某些模糊的认识,新闻媒介要加以引导,缓解矛盾,沟通党、政府与人民之间,这一部分人民群众与那一部分人民群众之间的联系,增进人们对改革的理解和支持,将人们的思想和行动引导到“一个中心、两个基本点”上来,引导到“实现四化,振兴中华”这一伟大的历史使命上来。应该肯定,新闻事业在十年改革中写下了光辉的一页,为改革开放立下了汗马功劳,尽了很大努力,是党的政治优势的重要组成部分。善于运用新闻推动工作,实际上是一种领导水平和现代工作方法的表现。领导者与人民的联系不外乎是两种形式,一种是神秘化,一种是公开化。神秘化往往同封建、封闭、经济落后相联系;公开化往往跟高度文明进步相联系。我们地区各级组织,要高度地重视新闻工作,切实加强对新闻工作的领导。

Do a good job in the guidance of public opinion and carry forward the righteousness of the society

搞好舆论引导 弘扬社会正气

Public opinion guidance and public opinion supervision are the two major functions of socialist journalism. The guidance of public opinion is to promote social integrity through news reports. As for the “promoting righteousness” that I speak of, this refers to strengthening people’s confidence in reform through the guidance of public opinion, recognizing the bright future of reform, and adhering to the four basic principles. At present, it is especially necessary to encourage everyone to actively participate in the work of governance, rectification, and reform in accordance with the spiritual requirements of the Central Committee, to maintain the authority of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, and to maintain a stable and united political situation. How can the guidance of public opinion play the role of “promoting righteousness?” This requires every journalist to stick to positive propaganda and grasp the tone of news propaganda. In the previous period, there was such a saying: “Unspoken achievements carry no weight.” This statement is obviously one-sided. China’s ten-year reform has made great achievements, which is the mainstream of our work and is recognized by the world. News and propaganda must be truth-seeking, must publicize achievements confidently, and must enhance the cohesion of the Party and the authority of the government. Journalists should pay attention to these issues, grasp the essence of things, reflect the mainstream take of the issues, and play a role in promoting righteousness. Regarding the hot and difficult issues that the masses are concerned about, we should, on the premise of publicizing the achievements of the ten-year reform, clarify the nature of these issues to the masses and guide the masses to correctly understand that these issues arise when the democratic and legal system is not perfect during the transition between the old and the new systems. Such issues will be reduced and eliminated with the gradual deepening of China’s reform, the construction of a socialist spiritual civilization, and the continuous strengthening of democracy and legal system construction.

舆论引导和舆论监督是社会主义新闻事业的两大功能。舆论引导就是通过新闻报道,弘扬社会正气。我这里讲的“弘扬正气”,指的就是通过舆论引导,坚定人们对改革的信心,认清改革的光明前途,坚持四项基本原则。当前,特别要激励大家按照中央的要求,积极投身治、整、改工作,维护党中央和国务院的权威,维护安定团结的政治局面。怎样才能使舆论引导起到“弘扬正气”的作用?这就要求每个新闻工作者坚持正面宣传为主,把握新闻宣传的基调。前一个时期,曾流传着这样一种说法:“成绩不说跑不了。”这个说法显然是片面的。我国十年改革取得巨大成绩,这是我们工作的主流,是全世界公认的。新闻宣传,要有求实的精神,理直气壮地宣传成绩,增强党的凝聚力和政府的权威。新闻工作者要注意这方面的问题,抓住事物的本质,反映问题的主流,起到弘扬正气的作用。对于群众关心的热点、难点问题,应在宣传十年改革成绩的前提下,向群众讲清这些问题的性质,引导群众正确认识这些问题是新旧体制交替过程中民主法制还不完善时出现的。它将随着我国改革逐步深化、社会主义精神文明建设、民主与法制建设的不断加强而减少和消除。

While strengthening the work of public opinion guidance, we must also pay attention to the role of public opinion supervision. Public opinion supervision is a key aspect of the strengthening of Party building and democratic political construction. Unchecked and unsupervised power is bound to lead to corruption. Whether corruption can be effectively stopped is related to the life and death of the Party and the success or failure of the socialist cause. This requires the establishment of various effective supervision mechanisms; public opinion supervision of the news media is the most frequent, open, and extensive method of supervision. At present, when emphasizing the strengthening of Party building and opposing corruption, we must give full play to the public opinion supervision function of news so that corruption can be exposed in broad daylight. Party organizations and governments at all levels should welcome journalists that report both good and bad news, take up the weapon of public opinion supervision, and expose and criticize problems in their own work and various corruption phenomena. Party and government leaders at all levels must correctly deal with news supervision, establish an open and enlightened attitude, not demand perfection from reporters, make friends with journalists, regard news supervision as support for local work, and create a good political environment for news supervision.

在加强舆论引导工作的同时,还要重视发挥舆论监督的作用。舆论监督是加强党的建设和民主政治建设的一项重要内容。不受制约和监督的权力,必然会腐败变质。能否有效地制止腐败现象关系到党的生死存亡和社会主义事业的成败。这就需要建立各种有效的监督机制,而新闻媒介的舆论监督是最经常、公开、广泛的一种监督方式。当前,在强调加强党的建设、反对腐败的时候,特别要发挥新闻的舆论监督功能,使腐败现象暴露在光天化日之下。各级党组织和政府应欢迎新闻工作者报喜也报忧,拿起舆论监督武器,对自己工作中的问题和各种腐败现象进行揭露批评。各级党政领导要正确对待新闻监督,要树立开放、开明的态度,对记者不应求全责备,要与新闻记者交朋友,把新闻监督看作对地方工作的支持,为新闻监督创造一个良好的政治环境。

Using the weapon of public opinion supervision requires a strong sense of social responsibility and attention to social effects: It is conducive to maintaining a stable and united political situation, reform and opening up, and the Party’s work. The starting point of public opinion supervision should be positive and constructive, and the focus of supervision should be those that seriously violate the major policies of the Party and the state and major problems in social life, with a focus on common incidents. The facts revealed must be accurate. When it comes to criticism of first-level Party organizations and governments, we must be cautious and not jump to conclusions. It is necessary to conduct in-depth investigations, listen to opinions from multiple parties, and draw conclusions that are in line with the facts. In particular, we must pay attention not to criticize those problems that the masses have opinions on and which are temporarily difficult to solve due to limited conditions in our work. Let the people know that the Party and the government are taking measures to overcome difficulties to solve these problems.

运用舆论监督武器,要有强烈的社会责任感,讲究社会效果。要有利于维护安定团结的政治局面,有利于改革、开放,有利于党开展工作。舆论监督的出发点应该是积极的、建设性的。监督的重点应该针对那些严重违反党和国家重大政策以及社会生活中存在的重大问题,要抓典型事件。揭发的事实,务求准确。涉及党的一级组织和政府的批评,要持慎重态度,不能先入为主。要深入调查,多方听取意见,得出合乎事实的结论。特别要注意不应把批评的矛头对准那些群众有意见而我们工作中因限于目前条件、一时难以解决的问题上。要让人民知道,党和政府正在采取措施,克服困难,解决问题。

Strengthening news team building

加强新闻队伍建设

— Journalists must have a strong sense of social responsibility. It should be clear that news organizations and journalists all work for the Party and the people, and they must be responsible to the Party and the people as well as to the cause of reform and opening up, no matter when and where they are. Pay attention to the social effects of public opinion and overcome one-sidedness.

新闻工作者要有强烈的社会责任感。应该明确新闻机构和新闻工作者都是为党和人民工作的,不论在何时何地,都要对党和人民负责,对改革开放的事业负责。要注意舆论的社会效果,克服片面性。

— Strengthen learning and improve the level of policy theory. This is an important condition that must be met to excel in journalism. If the level is not high, it is impossible to write good reports. The development of the commodity economy has brought a vibrant social life. Only with a pair of discerning eyes can we grasp the essence of things through phenomena.

要加强学习,提高政策理论水平。这是搞好新闻工作必须具备的重要条件。水平不高,是写不出好报道的。商品经济的发展带来了五光十色的社会生活,要有一双慧眼,才能透过现象抓住事物的本质。这就要求每个新闻工作者都要有较高的理论、政策水平,要学习法律知识,熟悉商品经济规律,要有较强的原则性和科学分析能力;总之,要求新闻工作者的政治素质和知识水平必须大大提高一步。

This requires every journalist to have a high level of understanding of theory and policy, to learn legal knowledge, to be familiar with the laws of the commodity economy, and to have strong principles and scientific analysis capabilities. The political quality and knowledge level of journalists must be greatly improved.

要发扬艰苦奋斗精神,深入调查研究。深入实际,调查研究,这是党的优良传统,也是新闻工作者必须具有的工作作风。报道写得好不好,与新闻工作者能不能深入实际、深入采访很有关系。从我们地区的情况看,目前有部分新闻工作者调查研究不够深入,坐在办公室里想点子,靠简报、会议材料编稿子,有时下乡了,也是“走马观花”。从现有报纸、电台上的报道看,内容深刻、质量高的还不很多;特别是有很多好的题材报道不出去,这和深入实际不够有很大关系。调查研究是新闻工作者的基本功,是新闻工作者成才的根本途径;只有坚持调查研究,才能把自己锻炼成思想端正、作风扎实、业务过硬的新闻工作者。

— We must carry forward the spirit of hard work and conduct in-depth investigations and research. It is the Party’s fine tradition to be deeply practical, to investigate, and to conduct research, and it is also the work style that journalists must have. Whether a report is well written or not has a lot to do with whether journalists can go deep into reality and conduct in-depth interviews. Judging from the situation in our region, at present, some journalists do not conduct enough research. They sit in the office to think of ideas and rely on briefings and conference materials to compile manuscripts. There are not many relevant reports in the newspapers that have in-depth content or a high level of quality; in particular, there are many good topics that go unreported, which has a lot to do with the lack of an in-depth understanding of reality. Investigation and research are the basic skills of journalists and the fundamental way for journalists to become talents. Only by persevering in investigation and research can we train ourselves to be journalists with correct thinking and a solid work style.

要严于律己,遵守职业道德。新闻工作者要讲究职业道德。现在有的地方出现“采购记者”、“拜金记者”。这些现象同新闻工作者的职业道德是水火不相容的,虽然表现在少数人身上,但严重损害了新闻事业的威信和声誉。新闻工作者担负着宣传群众、教育群众的神圣职责,教育者应先受教育,应严格自律,正派、公正、廉洁,要有更高尚、更严格的政治操守和职业道德。新闻工作是一种崇高的职业。每个新闻工作者都应该自重、自爱、自强。希望新闻工作者加强职业道德修养,形成一种良好的作风。

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Cite This Page

习近平 (Xi Jinping) (2022). "Grasping the Basis of Journalism ——Xi Jinping, Secretary of Fujian Ningde Prefectural Party Committee, Talks about Journalism [把握好新闻工作的基点 —福建宁德地委书记习近平谈新闻工作]". Interpret: China, Original work published July 30, 1989, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/grasping-the-basis-of-journalism-xi-jinping-secretary-of-fujian-ningde-prefectural-party-committee-talks-about-journalism/

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