Media Strengthening 做强做大

The full version of this key term, ba xinwen chuanmei zuo qiang zuo da (把新闻传媒做强做大), would be rendered literally in English with the rather fatuous phrase, “Doing the news media big and strong.” We’ll opt instead for the simpler “media strengthening.”
The “strengthening” slogan, zuo qiang zuo da (做强做大), was first employed in China’s industrial sector in the 1990s, but was dragged into China’s media lexicon in 2000 when politburo member and propaganda department chief Xu Guangchun used in in a speech promoting the development of broadcast media.
It is the CCP’s official view that media strengthening is needed for China to “face competition by international media groups and face the global struggle for public opinion” (面对国际传媒集团的竞争, 面对在世界范围内激烈的舆论斗争).
The slogan points generally to rapid commercialization of state-owned and controlled media to create a vibrant media industry that leaders are nevertheless capable of controlling and utilizing for political ends.
Communications scholars in China have summed up the idea of media strengthening with a couplet invoking the notion of the “strategic position” of Marxist ideology:
Without an economic base,
We cannot hold our strategic place.

David Bandurski

Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).