As we all know, the field of international journalism and global media is undergoing a profound revolution. No one can neglect the social influences of news and the ability of communication in spreading social, spiritual and cultural values as well as lifestyle changes. Therefore, the field of journalism and communication must shoulder a serious social responsibility and the task in promoting the progress of human civilization. Such responsibility and task are more difficult to fulfil than any other period in human history.
In October 2011, the Sixth Plenum of the 17th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) put forward two tasks for news media:
First, we must expand public opinion in the mainstream; improve the timeliness, authority, credibility and ability of taking a lead in public opinion.
Secondly, we must accelerate the establishment of a more efficient, comprehensive, technologically advanced and modern communication system.
To cultivate talented professionals is the key in achieving these goals. Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication should hold the glorious responsibility in training a large number of leading talents who will play a role of backbone for the development of journalism in China. For this reason, my colleagues and I agree that, as we usher in the School’s 10th Anniversary, we should strive to work and improve on the following three areas:
First of all, we must make full use of our university’s advantages. Tsinghua University's international and domestic influence is unique. Deep-rooted cultural heritage, advanced skills in science and technology, the social effects of the Tsinghua brand, high social reputation and a wealth of knowledge resources are the advantages of Tsinghua University. From the school’s development and the construction of disciplines, we must continue to make good use of the comprehensive resources of Tsinghua University.
Secondly, we must continue to maintain the unique characteristics of our school which had been built up over the past decade: (1) grappling with the mainstream at home and abroad; (2) cultivating the high-quality professionals; (3) consolidating liberal arts foundation; (4) promoting praxis-oriented pedagogy.
I believe these four characteristics are still worth our vigorous pursuit in carrying forward with our schools’ future development. Let me elaborate on these four aspects with regard to the ongoing political, social and cultural transformation.
Firstly, we should be committed to a firm and correct political orientation. Our School has been actively exploring the theory and practices of Marxist Journalism, namely, to applying the Marxist theory in observing the world, selecting and handling news production.
Secondly, we should adhere to our quality-oriented education philosophy. The modern news media is a complex system. Journalists need to have the spirit of independent thinking, the pursuit of truth, courage and using efficient techniques to influence public opinion to fulfil the social responsibility of the news media.
Thirdly, we should adhere to our School’s praxis-oriented pedagogy. With regards to training media personnel, our School puts high emphasis on integrating our curriculum into newsroom and media production, which accords with the current campaign of “practicing grass-root journalism” and “changing reportage stylistics” advocated in Chinese news media.
Fourthly, we should be endowed with an inclusive and academic mindset. Our School is well known for the globalized body of faculty members, visiting scholars, and students from all over the world. Despite the fact that they come from different countries and have different cultural backgrounds, we share a common interest in journalism and communication. Through interdisciplinary and multicultural exchanges, our faculty and student will be endowed with a global vision in their career development.
Once again, for a practice-oriented world, we need to train high-quality media talents. In general, Our School distinguishes herself from other institutions with the four aforementioned missions. We should continue with our reform so as to cultivate high-quality journalists and media personnel with solid liberal arts foundation and a globalized vision.
The current media sphere has already seen profound changes: the reciprocal relationship of international and domestic influences, the increasingly blurred boundary between domestic and international journalism; the competition between officials and citizenry. More and more breaking news has been released through social media instead of authoritative news agencies, mainstream newspapers, radio and television. The intertwining of online and official sources of information along with the integration of software and hardware has complicated the verification process of authenticity. Faced with such challenges, journalists need to gain initiatives amidst fierce competition. Thus, professional journalist should promptly determine the relationship of various aspects in dealing with complex news events, and take a lead in public opinions on major news agenda. The new generation of media personnel cannot just process words like those in the past. Instead, they must learn to use the latest and most cutting-edge technology to enhance and spread the power of communication and build multimedia news platforms and media channels.
Undoubtedly, there are still tremendous uncertainties in the future development of journalism and communication. This will require our faculty and students to make joint teaching and research endeavours in order to solve the various problems that we may encounter during such development. Let us work hard together and make joint efforts towards building a world-class School of Journalism and Communication.