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Spokesmen Trained on Quick Response to Accidents

The Information Office of the State Council on Friday started a five-day training course for 150 spokespersons from the central government departments, provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.


The move targets at enhancing the ability of spokespersons on quick responding and news releasing in case of accidents, said Cai Wu, head of the Information Office of the State Council, adding that the trainees are from over 70 governmental departments and 20 provinces and regions.


Cai noted the establishment of a quick response system for the news reporting of major accidents is an important task, adding that transparent news release is prerequisite for building up socialist democracy.


A quick and effective news releasing mechanism will help prevent rumors and wrong information from spreading, Cai said, stressing that governmental spokespersons should try their best to provide accurate and timely information to media, so as to safeguard government's right to say and people's right to know.


"The Ministry of Public Health provided timely information on the country's human infection cases of bird flu and held three news briefings on the epidemic within two months, which created a favorable environment for bird flu prevention and control," said Mao Qun'an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health.


"Only after the effective news release mechanism takes shape, can governments at various levels make rapid response to media in the occurrence of major accidents," Mao said.


The latest statistics released by the Information Office of the State Council showed that more than 70 central governmental departments and 27 provincial and regional governments have established news release and spokesperson systems.


China's governmental news release system was initiated in 1983 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1993 to 2003, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Information Office of the State Council, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the State Bureau of Statistics set up news release and spokesperson systems.


The spokesman training course held on Friday was the fourth of its kind. The previous three training courses were held in September 2003, October 2003 and May 2004.


Officials of the Information Office of the State Council, journalism scholars from Tsinghua University and Fudan university as well as veteran journalists of China Central Television (CCTV) have given lectures at the training course.


(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2005)

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