On August 13th, the online promotion event "Using River as the Medium: Exploring China Along the Grand Canal" and the "Media's Eyes on the Grand Canal" media tour in Yangzhou City were officially launched. Guests from central and local news media outlets, websites, and commercial platforms gathered in Yangzhou Prefecture Level City to explore the cultural heritage of the Grand Canal and discover the charm of Yangzhou through activities such as media tours, thematic research, and roundtable discussions.
Mr. Wang Jinjian, Secretary of the Party Committee of Yangzhou City, expressed in his welcoming speech that in recent years, Yangzhou Party Committee has earnestly studied and implemented the important instructions and guiding spirits from General Secretary Xi Jinping on the protection, inheritance, and utilization of the cultural heritage of the Grand Canal. The city has undertaken the mission of revitalizing the ancient canal, striving to be a model and a leader in the construction of the cultural belt along the Grand Canal. Yangzhou City aims to create a perpetual canal of culture, an ecological canal of harmony and coexistence, a colorful canal of tourism, an open canal of communication, and a prosperous canal of development.
Ms. Wang Juan, Deputy Director of the Network Communication Bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, stated in her speech that online media should use the canal as a medium and the internet as a platform to derive "cultural confidence" from General Secretary Xi Jinping's footprints along the canal, reveal the "development code" from the transformation of the Grand Canal in the new era, and activate the "cultural heritage" of the canal through the innovation of the internet. This will allow a continuous stream of positive energy and voices to cross mountains and rivers via the internet and reach people's hearts, thereby consolidating the inexhaustible strength of national rejuvenation with a deeper cultural confidence.
Mr. Yang Liqun, Deputy Minister of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee Publicity Department and Director of the Provincial Party Committee Cyberspace Administration, stated that embracing diverse influences and integration is at the core of the culture of the Grand Canal, which aligns well with the distinctive features and communicative advantages of the internet. This event is of great significance for exploring the cultural essence of the Grand Canal and effectively narrating the stories of the new era through new media. He emphasized the importance of being guided by direction, focusing on content, activating cultural heritage and the flow of the canal, and enhancing the efficiency of canal culture communication.
Mr. Luo Hua, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Editor-in-Chief of People's Daily Online, said in his speech that using the Grand Canal culture as a link, we need to allow the millennia of cultural heritage to merge with the current era's tide; using happy Grand Canal as a blueprint, we need to create a harmonious urban scroll painting together; using open Grand Canal as a window, we need to spread the voice of China to the world. He stressed that People's Daily Online would collaborate with other media outlets to serve as a bridge, utilizing new technologies and expressions to aid in the promotion of the image and high-quality development of the Grand Canal and the cities it flows through, taking on the role of the torchbearer of canal culture and Chinese civilization.
The Grand Canal connects the north and the south of China, and its culture spans over a thousand years. At the event, Ms. Wang Juan, Deputy Director of the Network Communication Bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, Mr. Yang Liqun, Deputy Director of the Publicity Department of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee and Director of the Cyberspace Administration of the Provincial Committee, Mr. Wang Jinjian, Secretary of the Yangzhou Party Committee, Mr. Luo Hua, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Editor-in-Chief of People's Daily Online, Mr. He Cong, Director of the Jiangsu Branch of People's Daily, and Mr. Zhang Chaoyang, Secretary of the Party Committee and CEO of Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, jointly launched the "Media's Eyes on the Grand Canal" media event. Mr. Liu Wei, Deputy Director of the Cyberspace Administration of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee and Mr. Chen Xingxing, member of the editorial board of People's Daily Online and CEO of People's Video, presented flags and books for the online promotion event "Using River as the Medium: Exploring China Along the Grand Canal." Mr. Zhang Changjin, member of the Standing Committee and Director of the Publicity Department of the Yangzhou Party Committee, attended and presided over the event.
The event featured discussions on topics such as the protection, inheritance, and utilization of the Grand Canal, as well as innovative modes of new media communication for canal cities domestically and internationaly, Yangzhou's digital economic development, and the development of canal city industries and new media communication strategies.
The event seeks to allow the culture of the Grand Canal to integrate into the new era and journey toward a better future. During the keynote speech segment, representatives from the media industry gathered together to share their innovative practices in the inheritance of canal culture and the dissemination of canal city heritage.
Mr. Zhou Xisheng, former Deputy Director of Xinhua News Agency and former CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Xinhua Net, stated that leveraging the strengths of various parties, innovating linguistic methods, modes of expression, and platform carriers are essential to create a strong online synergy. He emphasized the need to comprehensively promote the global expression, regional expression, and diversified expression of the Grand Canal culture, allowing the culture to thrive in the contemporary world and communicate with both domestic and international audiences.
Mr. Zhou Jie, Deputy Secretary-General of China Netcasting Services Association, expressed that in an era where attention is scarce, it is important to make good use of audiovisual media to establish new connections, new cognitive pathways, and new stories. The goal is to create a robust and influential Grand Canal intellectual property (IP) and a Yangzhou City brand that stands firm, spreads widely, and resonates powerfully.
Mr. Wu Yanpeng, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of China Daily Online, noted that the functional importance of the Grand Canal in contemporary times as a conduit integrating the north and the south, and the historical connection between the canal and the prosperity of cities remains relevant. He anticipated that cities along the Grand Canal will rejuvenate, carrying the spirit of the canal forward.
Ms. Zhang Ning, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Guangming Online, stressed the importance of nurturing cultural roots, constructing broader platforms, and ensuring the propagation and inheritance of a series of excellent traditional Chinese cultures including the Grand Canal culture to enable the expression of deep emotions people hold for the Grand Canal.
Mr. Wang Kai, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of China News, emphasized the necessity of effectively telling the stories of the Grand Canal and China to the overseas "Gen Z" and letting them become "allies" in China’s foreign publicity efforts, "fans" of Yangzhou City, and enthusiasts of the Grand Canal culture.
Mr. Tian Kewu, Editor-in-Chief of Beijing Youth Daily, stated that cities along the Grand Canal need to take collective action and collaboratively explore the rich connotations of Grand Canal culture. This effort will awaken the history dormant in old records, enable that impactful and warm urban communication that directly touches people's hearts.
Mr. Yu Wei, CEO of the 21st Century Business Herald, stressed that media think tanks need to up-play their unique advantages, collaborate with various social forces, build the "Grand Canal Index", effectively tell the stories of "famous cities", and collectively advance the high-quality development of canal cities.
Ms. Huang Chenxia, General Manager and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Tencent News, shared her experience exploring the ancient city of Yangzhou along the canal. She highlighted the deep historical heritage and unique local culture of Yangzhou, where every inch of land showcases the allure of Chinese culture.
Ms. Zhao Hejuan, Founder and CEO of TMTPOST Tech Group, emphasized that there is ample space for the digital development of the cultural tourism industry. Regardless of refined operations or digital marketing, both are based on the cornerstone of cultural heritage.
Yangzhou is not only the city where the Grand Canal originates and a leading city in the application for the UNESCO World Heritage status; it is also known as the "World’s Capital of Canals" and one of the first 24 historical and cultural cities in China. In 2014, Yangzhou's application for the inclusion of the China Grand Canal project in the UNESCO World Heritage List was successful, making it China's 46th World Heritage project. During the event, Mr. Shen Wenjie, Deputy Director of the Publicity Department of the Yangzhou Party Committee, introduced the cultural heritage of the Yangzhou Grand Canal and the development of related industries.
Three roundtable discussions focused on the protection, inheritance, and utilization of the Grand Canal, as well as innovative models for new media communication for canal cities domestically and internationally, Yangzhou's digital economic development, and the development of canal city industries and new media communication strategies.
Representatives from various organizations, including Mr. Qian Pengfei, Director of the Department of Liaison of China Newspaper Association, Mr. Yan Ming, Secretary of the Leading Party Memebers’ Group and Chairman of the Yangzhou Federation of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Mr. Zeng Fanhua, Director of the Weibo and Wechat Communication Center of China Youth Network, and Ms. Wang Jia, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Southern Metropolis Daily, engaged in dialogues around the theme of "Inheriting and Innovating the Culture of the Grand Canal." Guests including Ms. Lu Yajun, Director of the Bilibili Public Policy Research Institute, Mr. Zhao Zhiguo, Editor-in-Chief of the New Yellow River Media Platform, Ms. Long Xueqing, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Jiemian Global, and Ms. Li Lu, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Live Broadcasting Business at Douyin Group, engaged in discussions centered around the theme of "Using the Internet to Tell the Story of the Grand Canal". Mr. Zeng Xuewen, Editor-in-Chief and Reviewer of Guangling Book Society, Mr. Wang Guofeng, Member of the Party Committee of Chao Wen Tian Xia Media and Director of Zhejiang Daily Digital Editing Department, Ms. Tian Ying, Member of the Party Committee and the editorial board of Chengdu Business Daily, and Ms. Long Ying, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Beijing Youth Network, discussed the topic of "Cultural Resources Empowering High-Quality Urban Development."