The 2nd China Global Television Network (CGTN) Global Media Summit and the 8th CCTV+ Global Video Media Forum (VMF2018)opened in southwest China's Chongqing on Tuesday.
At the opening ceremony, Jiang Heping, the Controller of CGTN delivered a speech in which he expressed the hope of joining efforts with the global media and creating an environment of media convergence.
Jiang shared his thoughts and experience on CGTN, which was launched December 31, 2016, and has remained a diligent explorer of media convergence since then.
Echoing the summit's theme, "Opening and Connecting the World," Jiang emphasized that media convergence and upgrading are the common concerns of the global media. He adopted the idea from Daoism, a traditional Chinese philosophy, and called on others to respect of the rules, while pushing forward the work.
Jiang elaborated his understanding of communication through five Chinese characters: 木 (mu) for tree, 本(ben) for root, 果 (guo) for fruit, 林 (lin) for woods, and 森 (sen) for forest.
Distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning, welcome to the second CGTN Global Media Summit here in Chongqing. Inaugurated last year with the theme of "A Shared Future", our event now sharpens its focus on "Openness, Connectivity and Association". We hope this specific set of values will inform the mentality of the world's media organizations and the ecology of our industry in general.
Right now, all mainstream outlets across the globe are actively embracing media integration and upgrade; CGTN is no exception. As an international media organization from the East and from China, we carry in our genes the distinctive temperament of this ancient civilization. China's cultural and philosophical traditions have been a source of my thoughts and explorations about CGTN's role in international communication, which I'd like to share with you today.
The Way follows Nature; this is the central tenet of China's Daoism. The ancient wisdom from over 2000 years ago stresses learning from nature and attuning ourselves to its constant flux. Embodying the Chinese appreciation and respect for nature and its rules, this tenet has guided our thinking and behavior through the ages.
The pursuit of sophistication ultimately ends in simplicity. The Way of Nature, I believe, offers insights on the laws of communication and gives sustenance to media workers like us. China's writing system is known for its unique graphic visualization of nature. Now please allow me to elaborate my understanding of communication through five Chinese characters. They are, 木(mu) for tree, 本(ben) for root, 果 (guo) for fruit, 林(lin) for woods, and森 (sen) for forest.
First is 木. This simple character portrays the tree standing proud and tall. CGTN builds its capabilities in international communication the same way a gardener nurtures trees. Just like the lush branches and foliage extending from a mighty oak, our English-language communication has its diverse components integrated with the central trunk of policy, strategy, mechanism, technology and practices. In October 2017, we launched the CGTN News Center as the trunk of the oak, which spreads its many branches into platforms of all media ranging from TV broadcasting, Internet, mobile apps, social media, to a video news agency. The strength and depth of our integration determines the vigor and robustness of the tree's trunk, which is the key to our multimedia efforts.
Beneath the trunk is the tree's root, which is represented by the character 本 in Chinese. A single horizontal bar added to 木 forms 本, which means root and basis. At CGTN, our root resides in news gathering and production capability. Like a typical root system, our Beijing headquarters and our regional production centers in North America, Africa and soon Europe branch out in an immense network of domestic and overseas bureaus and correspondents. As the Chinese saying goes, a firm root anchors the tree. The vitality of CGTN's global infrastructure of news coverage determines the quality of its services and its viability and success in this highly competitive industry.
My third word is 果, which means fruit in Chinese. With the square and cross perched on top of 木, 果 resembles a tree laden with ripening fruit. The fruit that CGTN supplies to its audience is quality content, offered via our TV channels, video news agency, Internet, mobile apps, and social media accounts. Our strategy stresses both the Internet and broadcasting while giving precedence to new and emerging media. These guidelines have informed our efforts in content production, platform construction, and research and development. Right now, we're concentrating on building CGTN Mobile News, our own platform straddling conventional Internet and its wireless version.
Next comes the character 林, which is formed by two 木 hand in hand. In Chinese, 林 means woods, or a small area of trees. At CGTN, the tree of English-language news is complemented by services in other languages -- Spanish, Arabic, French, and Russian -- each standing with its own root and branches. Such diversity allows us to bear and offer many different fruits for different palates and different tastes, and to reach different cultures.
The last of the five characters is 森. With three 木 stacked together, 森 means a vast multitude of trees extending to the horizon. CGTN is thriving as part of China Media Group, a gigantic conglomerate combining the former China Central Television, China National Radio, and China Radio International. The Group operates nearly 50 TV channels, 130 radio frequencies, 4 leading news websites, and some 40 newspapers and magazines. It distributes content in 55 languages to the world. This media giant provides the forest and ecology for CGTN to grow and develop.
The Dao or The Way, gives us insights, which have to be put into practice. The wellbeing of an orchard depends on choosing the right location and climate, but it also requires constant care and diligent cultivation. As different species of trees thrive under different conditions, we have to adopt the approaches best suited to our goals. Success in the media sector calls for specialization; at CGTN we've made a point of staying on focus.
Targeting each different language, culture, and platform, we've devised specific approaches and strategies. Such a high degree of specialization and focus ensures the precision and effectiveness in presenting our contents.
In terms of languages, our English service is aimed at a global audience and therefore supplies comprehensive and diverse contents. Our services in other languages, each of which targets a specific region and culture, strive for top quality in their limited and focused scope.
In serving the world's many regions and their various cultures, we try to adapt to their different and distinctive local circumstances and seek the optimal points of entry and contact.
In operating our different platforms, we are tailoring the format of our contents to each medium's unique features. Rather than indiscriminate distribution, we've been experimenting with different running times and sometimes varied program structures for TV broadcasting and mobile Internet.
To stay on focus means to respect and appreciate specialization. Division of labor is as essential in running a media organization as in cultivating an orchard. At CGTN we build an environment where professionals can focus on their specialty.
In China, we have the saying “桃李不言,下自成蹊”(Tao li bu yan, xia zi cheng xi). This ancient parable tells how peach and plum trees, though lacking the power of speech, can attract so many people with blossoms and fruits that a path forms on the ground.
From this vivid analogy, CGTN has drawn inspirations in its international communication efforts. But we're also aware that value is generated through exchange in the marketplace. Among the world's leading media organizations, none has succeeded while ignoring the market. CGTN appreciates the rules of the market and believes in fair competition. Although our top priority is not to seek profits, we've insisted on following standard business practices in our operations.
To carry the fruit analogy further, English-language content is as popular and accessible as apples, which suit many palates far and wide, and high and low. Street peddlers have sold apples in the most primitive economies; but in a modern marketplace, the producers have to improve their products and add greater value for the customers.
For example, apples can be sent to a farmer's market or a supermarket, or packaged elaborately as upscale gifts. They can also be canned, made into juice, or dried. What's more, they can be picked as part of farm tourism, and even crowdfunding can be used to give urban dwellers an opportunity to consume the organic fruits of their own capital and labor.
All these varied approaches can be applied to CGTN's English-language content, which is being delivered through both general distribution and through segmented and precise targeting. We offer tailor-made services to high-end customers as well as products easily available to the general public, with different categories targeted at each segment of our audience. Our distribution channels maximize our capability in connecting with our customers and serving them. Through value-added communication, CGTN is supplying products and services to millions of individuals and winning their hearts and minds.
In the 16th Century, the Chinese philosopher Wang Yangming made the observation that “知者行之始,行者知之成” (Zhi zhe xing zhi shi, xing zhe zhi zhi cheng). "Vision spurs action and is achieved through action", it means knowledge initiates and culminates in action. His insight was echoed three centuries later by the German philosopher Feuerbach, who wrote "Practice will solve the problems that theory cannot solve". China and the West might have different cultures, but they tend to agree in essential epistemology, methodology, and understanding of practice. The Way and the Practice in international communication calls for constant explorations. CGTN is willing to join all media organizations of the world in this great endeavor and to progress from association to common prosperity.