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Journalists to play larger role in new era
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The country's 300,000 journalists have a larger role to play as China enters a new stage of development, a senior official with the Communist Party of China (CPC) said yesterday.

Liu Yunshan, a member of the Political Bureau and head of publicity department of the CPC Central Committee, said journalists face a new period of reform and opening, with the country's focus on science and development highlighted after the 17th National Congress held last month.

The Party Congress is regarded as a landmark event, as it outlines the country's direction of development for the next five years, including building an affluent country, achieving sustained growth, and deepening reform and opening.

Liu was speaking at the eighth Journalists Day and the 70th anniversary of the All-China Journalists Association in Beijing.

He said with the country well on its way to regaining its former glory as a great civilization, journalists now shoulder great responsibility and face an exciting career with huge potential.

To that end, the journalists were urged to get closer to people, feel their joys and sorrows and serve them well by sharing their stories.

Zhao Shan, a senior reporter with Guizhou Daily in Guizhou Province, could be seen as exemplary in those respects.

The award-winning journalist spent a total of eight months in 48 least-developed counties in the province, writing more than 40 investigative reports on the life and livelihood of poor farmers.

The stories aroused great interests from both the authorities, local companies and individuals, who provided financial, technical and other forms of assistance to the farmers.

Liu also called on the press to innovate to meet the challenges of a new era where technology could significantly expand the expertise of journalists and deliver better content to their audience.

The All-China Journalists Association also gave awards to outstanding news reports, journalists and organizations.

China Daily won a total of five awards, including the top prize and a team award in the journalistic works category, and two awards for individual journalists.

The association's chairman, Tian Congming, said over the past 70 years, journalism has seen immense development: Newspaper circulation has risen from 1 million copies to 197 million copies; while circulation has hit 164 million for periodicals and online content consumers now number 172 million.

(China Daily November 9, 2007)

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