China’s president Xi Jinping has urged the country’s journalists to conform to the Communist Party.

Xi made his remarks in a speech during a meeting with representatives of the All-China Journalists Association and winners of the country’s top journalism awards a day before China’s Journalists’ Day on November 8.

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Xi Jinping shakes hands with media professionals at the meeting. Photo: Video screenshot.

Xi Jinping urged journalists to follow “the correct political direction,” conform to the Party’s Central Committee, adhere to the Marxist view of journalism, stick to the position of the party and the people, and uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics, reported the official Xinhua News Agency.

The ACJA is an organisation linking the Party and the government with journalists. Xi urged the it to better unite journalists and make the association their “home,” as well as strengthen its ideological and political leadership towards journalists.

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Xi Jinping speaks at the event. Photo: Video Screenshot.

He also emphasised that journalists should aim to be media professionals that the party and the people can trust. Media professionals should make more effort to promote the Party’s theories and policies, Chinese people’s hard work and achievements, mainstream values and “positive energy.”

A “sound environment for public opinion” is crucial for governance and national stability, he said.

To mark Journalists’ Day, Xinhua published a video interviewing people about how they see the profession.

Press freedom predator

Chinese media have seen increasing constraints since Xi came to power. On November 2, NGO Reporters Without Borders said that “China continues to be the world’s leading country for censorship, self-censorship and the suppression of freely-reported news and information.”

xi jinping press predator
Photo: RSF.

It published a gallery of 35 press freedom predators around the world, with Xi Jinping among them. His “kill tally” numbers over 100 journalists and bloggers currently jailed.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.