December 23 – Zhejiang University Master of China Studies students received a special gift – an invitation to visit China News Service Zhejiang Branch. This was the first time that the students had the opportunity to interact with such an internationally influential and authoritative media organization. China News Service is China’s main internationally-oriented news agency and serves a target market of overseas Chinese; audiences in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan; and foreigners interested in China.
China News Service is one of the oldest Chinese-language online media providers in Asia. China News Service’s Hong Kong Branch started its online news service in 1995, and in 1999 the media organization opened its China News Network (chinanews.com) and Overseas Chinese Network (chinaqw.com) online portals. China News Network has become one of the most important news websites in China.
This visit was hosted by the director of China News Service Zhejiang Branch, Zhao Yanjiao. After introducing the news agency to the students, Director Zhao explained how the news agency leverages its “integrated-media” paradigm to stay on top of trends transforming the media industry and to create new forms of media. One example of the new media that China News Service Zhejiang Branch has created was a flash mob the news agency organized on the banks of Xizi Lake for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In another project, a series of promotional works and videos exploring the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal’s cultural heritage and preservation efforts were released on Wechat, Weibo, and other platforms. Both campaigns received an enthusiastic public response.
The international students were deeply interested by their visit, which was their first encounter with official Chinese media. Led by Director Zhao, the students visited the work space of China News Service’s journalists. Editors demonstrated to the students how to operate Wechat public accounts and how to create Wechat mini programs, and technical staffed shared some of the technical software which are used to create live broadcasts.
After viewing the work space, the students attended the China News Service Zhejiang Branch’s weekly staff meeting. During the meeting, the students engaged in highly meaningful discussion with the journalists on the differences between Chinese and Western media methods, their understanding of what media is, and cultural differences in how narratives are conveyed. Through this exchange, the students gained a new understanding of Chinese media and of the differences between media in different countries.
At the close of the visit, Dean Wei Lu of the School of Media and International Culture of Zhejiang University expressed gratitude to China News Service for the warm reception and praised its contributions to media globalization and to the overseas dissemination of Chinese media. Director Zhao also shared some thoughts on the changing role and importance of media. Media integration has become a topic of interest throughout the world as each country seeks to tell its own stories and make its own viewpoints known. Media is not only an important platform for cultural exchange, but is also an important channel for mutual learning and for promoting peace. Director Zhao also expressed her hope that the international students’ visit to China News Service offered a window into understanding the great changes China is undergoing and to see the friendliness, openness, and tolerance of China.