Press centre at China's 19th party congress strives to boost transparency of meeting

The passage, located in the Great Hall of the People - the venue of next week's 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China - aims to boost the transparency of the meeting.
The passage, located in the Great Hall of the People - the venue of next week's 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China - aims to boost the transparency of the meeting.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - For the first time, a special "delegates' passage" will be set up at the venue of China's upcoming Party Congress to give Chinese and foreign journalists a chance to interview delegates attending the event.

The passage, located in the Great Hall of the People - the venue of next week's 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China - aims to boost the transparency of the meeting.

Deputy head of the Press Centre Wang Dongmei said introducing the delegates' passage will further facilitate media interviews with delegates and will help diversify their coverage of the congress.

Registered reporters from China and abroad started arriving at the press centre on Wednesday (Oct 11) to pick up their press cards for the all-important, once-in-five-year political event that is expected to map out China's development path in the coming years.

In March, during the annual gatherings of the top legislature and top political advisory body, a passage was successfully introduced in the Great Hall of the People, allowing the media to ask questions of minister-level officials attending the two sessions.

The "ministers' passage", which gave reporters a greater chance to raise questions on urgent public concerns, won praise from the media and observers.

Also on Wednesday, the press centre's website and WeChat account were put into use.

Head of the Press Centre Hu Xiaohan noted that this is the first time the congress' press centre opened an official account on the popular social network WeChat.

The WeChat account will inform reporters of the congress' agenda, latest updates, announcements, notices and relevant information.

To echo the trend of media integration and the rising need to bring news to social networks, the press centre, for the first time, also set up an interview room offering access to 20 specially prepared cables to reach the internet.

Executive Dean Yu Guoming of Beijing Normal University's School of Journalism and Communication said the new passage demonstrates the Party's efforts to innovate in its interactions with the media and embrace greater openness.

While spokesmen make informational briefings in an official style, delegates come from various places and have different vocations and levels of expertise. As a result, they may offer answers that better respond to public concerns, he said.