SHANGHAI, Oct 25 (Bernama) — The global perception of limited press freedom in China is untrue, says Yan Chengsheng, Deputy Director of the International Corporation Department of the State Administration of Radio Film and Television of China (SARFT).
He said the perception came about as many radio and television stations were set up by local governments.
“Nonetheless, it should not be seen as a Chinese Government policy to control the media as private investments are involved in television film, drama and programme productions which are flourishing without any obstruction from the government, and such public-private cooperation is the main source of revenue for most television stations in China.
“If there were no media freedom, would private companies invest in these stations set up by local governments in China?,” he asked in a question-and-answer session during the 2014 Seminar On Radio And Television Programme Production For Developing Countries.
The seminar, from Oct 23 to Nov 4, is aimed at providing electronic media practitioners from several developing countries to share their experiences in news production, as well as radio and television programmes.
Yan said it could not be denied that media in China were not allowed to criticise the government arbitrarily as it was also practised by developed countries such as the United States.
“If the government is frequently criticised by the media, will the government be still competent in the people’s perception? The government may lose its credibility in the various policies implemented. This can lead to a dangerous situation,” he noted.
He said media freedom was one of the objectives pursued by the Chinese Government but it depended on the socio-economic level achieved by the entire Chinese community.
According to Yan, there are 2,570 radio and television stations in China and they have succeeded in generating a revenue of US$60 billion (RM197 billion) last year.
China has the largest network of radio and television stations in the world, in which 97.79 per cent of the 1.3 billion Chinese population is able to receive radio broadcast while 98.42 per cent of the people are able to receive television broadcast. — BERNAMA