Three Gorges Probe
November 28, 2001
China has launched an all-out media campaign to polish the image of the Three Gorges dam, Sanxia gongcheng bao (Three Gorges Daily) reports.
Delegates from China’s main official news organizations gathered recently at the dam site in Hubei province to exchange ideas on ways to "propagandize" the project in the domestic media – that is, to present it in a positive light.
And with a view to getting the foreign media on side, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao unveiled a plan to arrange tours for journalists to the dam site. Zhao Guoshen of the State Council’s Information Office said it is important for foreign journalists to visit the Three Gorges Exhibition Centre and tour the dam site, to be able to relay accurate information abroad.
Lu Youmei, general manager of the Three Gorges Project Development Corp., told the meeting that the dam project has benefited from modern science and technology, and has crystallized the wisdom of the Chinese people and intellectuals over many generations.
It stands to reason that "different voices" have been raised on the subject of the world’s biggest water-control project, Mr. Lu said. And by taking a range of views into account, project managers have been able to reduce the dam’s harmful impacts on society and the environment, he said.
In the course of constructing the dam, the designers and builders have gradually achieved a better understanding of the project, Mr. Lu said. For example, greater attention is now being paid to the problem of water pollution and the risk of geological disasters in the reservoir area, with money now channelled toward addressing these issues, he said.
The government and project authorities are determined to resolve problems that could harm people’s lives and health, and to build the reservoir area into a region of beautiful mountains and clear water, Mr. Lu said.
The delegates from China’s official media proposed a variety of ways to make their reports compelling and easily understood. It was suggested that focusing on several "hot topics" and producing carefully prepared in-depth reports would help catch the attention of readers and viewers. The media must look for topics that will interest ordinary people, and explain technical issues in plain language, delegates said.
They also noted the importance of directing propaganda efforts toward young people, who have little knowledge of the dam project. They should be made aware of the necessity of the dam, and helped to understand how it will transform China’s future.
Participants in the Oct. 26-29 forum included representatives from the State Council’s Information Office, the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Information, the Broadcasting and Television Bureau, People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China News Service, China Central Broadcasting Station, China Central Television Network, Guangming Daily, Workers Daily, Science and Technology Daily, Legal Daily, China Youth Daily, China Women’s Daily, China Power and Electricity Daily, and China Water Resources News.
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