媒体权力,媒体多元主义与媒体治理圆桌会议 – Media power, media pluralism, and media governance

编者按:

改革开放三十年,时代的进步推动了技术的发展。互联网时代的到来,新媒体的迅猛发展,让传统媒体措手不及。时代倒逼下,传统媒体积极改革。其核心——评论也面临着打碎再造。十多年前,宏大叙事下的启蒙话语体系,影响着评论的发展。而改革的今天,启蒙对评论的影响呈现边际递减效应。今日推送南方都市报评论员张天潘于第四届互联网公共传播学术论坛上的发言,他认为评论应该从价值倡导到事实介入,从批评到建设的转型。

评论的发展,与其在启蒙上的作用,是息息相关的。十多年前,那些宏大词汇下的评论启蒙,就像自由女神举起了火炬,成为一股继80年代之后的席卷中国的启蒙高潮。但十多年过去了,这种启蒙,已经经历过了它的边际效用递减的波谷,开始走下坡路了。而随着新媒体与自媒体的兴趣,这种启蒙干脆已经没有多大的生存空间了,评论的启蒙的,已经被个人所替代,也即微博上的“公知”,而现在甚至连“公知”本身也成为了贬义词。

 

如今,随着社会大背景进入了改革的转型期,启蒙式的价值倡导,虽然并没有失去其意义与价值,但其影响力已经淡化。启蒙(自由、民主、人权、普世价值、公平、正义、宪政等为显著特此的词汇)与政府口中的“改革”一样,已经被袪魅到令人有些反感的地步了。这也意味着,价值倡导的话语空间,已经日益逼仄。当然,这来自多方面的原因,一方面是公众见识的提升,在价值倡导了十多年之后,除了那些装睡的人,其他的能叫醒的基本上都已经叫醒了。一方面是话语的被滥用,一些人不加节制地使用这些词汇,或故意的搅屎棍与抹黑。还有更重要的是政府对于这些词汇的打压,在语言上,使他们成为一个个禁区。

 

而在更大的背景上看,在这个迷茫与雾霾重重的转型期,每一个改变与政策制定,都是一场激烈的博弈过程,看不见的硝烟弥漫,所谓改革进入深水区,就是意味着“改革”本身已经被架空到赤裸裸的利益的平衡与争夺,意味着利益的多元化。而这种平衡与争夺,也并非高层上的博弈,也蔓延到社会的每一个角落,深入到社会肌理的每一个毛孔,以异地高考为例,不仅仅是异地高考的家庭与官方之间的对立,还包括本地的家庭与外来家庭的利益冲突,甚至也包括外来家庭中间的利益差异,如果这种事情,再简单地呼吁教育权利平等,无疑是隔靴挠痒的,也很难真正地解决问题。

 

所以,就这些背景来看评论写作,可见面临着一个自我转型的急迫性,以实现评论话语权力的再造。这种评论转型,将是评论不得不面临的一个媒体大变局下的自我转型。

 

首先,万精油式的大众化评论写作模式已经破产了,现在不管是微博或者是微信,很容易会发现评论或者说意见已经慢慢有一种精英化的趋向,所以它会要求评论的专业或者明显的个人风格的东西要求越来越高,而且各种平台的增多,更多专业人士的发声,让不深不浅、不专不一的评论写作者,变得毫无优势可言,外行话或价值先行的现象,比比皆是。

 

其次,现在的评论,除了反向价值的能够得以被关注(如《环球时报》的评论与《人民日报》评论等)之外,评论本身及其评论写作者,已经被时代隐匿了。我们一年到头,还能记得住哪些好的、有影响力的评论?

 

第三,多年的宣传部门禁令与评论的斗智斗勇,已经彻底制服了评论,被爆菊已经家常便饭了,已经将评论的空间逼退到前所未有的悬崖边。

所以,再造评论的权力,必须让评论决不能再作为一个闭门造字与坐而论道的工作,评论员不仅要成为一个社会活动家般,并且成为某个领域的深度介入者。事实介入,最浅层的作为,则意味要将评论作为一种新闻。评论可以成为新闻,而不是新闻的二传手,或者说,只能捡二手货。评论其实也产生新闻,而非只是对于新闻或某事件的发生与评价,而是能够介入到新闻生产过程中,甚至针对事件,进行介入。以我自己在南都评论周刊上的操作,我策划了“精神关怀与文化转型”、“新见”、还有“基层设计”。其实几个评论系列,是以新闻的范式而操作了,想体现自己的策划与关注。

 

更一层的则是,直接对决策与政策发生实质性的影响,评论成为舆论智库。比如,我们现在和师曾志老师等发起的安平公共传播公益基金,我现在主要负责“安平沙龙”,就是试图搭建一个公益界、学界、媒体界的联合平台,介入到事件本身,最后推动公共决策。我不是新闻学科班出身,学社会学的,我更看重的是社会行动,尤其将话语权力转化为社会行动(更牛逼的是社会运动)。

当然,这种权力再造的介入并不意味着卷入其中,从而影响其客观与中立,而是以常识、价值等为底线,从文字到行动的转型,从批评到建设的转型,从倡导到介入的转型,建立起评论的话语权力新的来源,否则,评论将会日益成为被读者、大众无视甚至鄙夷的絮叨。

 

Editor’s note

It’s been thirty years since the Reform and Opening, and progress has promoted the development of technology. The coming of the internet age and the fast development of new media have taken traditional media by surprise. Forced by the times, traditional media have adopted reforms. The media’s core component – opinion pieces – also faces creative destruction. Ten years ago, ‘enlightenment discourse’, part of the grand narrative, influenced the development of opinion pieces. But in today’s period of reform, the effect of enlightenment discourse on opinion is diminishing. Today, we’re inviting Southern Metropolitan Daily commentator Zhang Tianpan to speak at the Fourth Academic Forum on Internet Public Communication: he considers that opinion pieces should shift their focus from advocacy to factual discussion, and from criticism to constructive contribution.

The development of opinion pieces, and their role in the development of ‘enlightenment discourse’, are closely correlated. Ten years ago, discussions about the enlightenment and commentaries full of grand words – like the Statue of Liberty brandishing its torch – became the highest wave of enlightenment discourse to hit China after the 80s. Ten years later, this form of discourse saw its marginal utility diminish, and it started to decline. With the rise of new media and self-media, there is not much space left for this kind of enlightenment discourse, and these broad opinion pieces have already been replaced by individual weibo streams, those known as ‘public intellectuals’ – and now, the term ‘public intellectual’ itself has become derogatory.

Today, as the social environment is entering a large transitional period of reform, advocating ‘enlightenment-style’ values hasn’t lost its meaning, but the influence of this kind of discourse is diluted. Enlightenment discourse (with significant words like freedom, democracy, human rights, universal values, fairness, justice, constitution, and others), just like what the government calls ‘reform’, has lost so much of its charm that some people have started to resent it. This also means that the rhetorical space for advocacy has become increasingly cramped. Of course, there are many reasons for this. On the one hand, there is increased public awareness: after ten years of advocacy, apart from those who still pretend to sleep, all who could wake up have woken up. On the other hand, words have been abused, some people have used these words without restraint, or deliberately sought trouble and stirred up the mud. Even more important is the pressure that the government put on these words, so that they have become a restricted zone.

But if we look at the situation from a broader angle, in this confused and hazy period of transition, every reform and every change of policy has become a complex game, with smokes and mirrors, or what we sometimes call ‘deep-sea reform’. And so the process of ‘reform’ itself has been side-lined by competing interests and balances, and these interests have diversified. Beside, this game of checks and balances and competing interests is not restricted to top-tier executives, but it has spread to every corner of society, and has entered every pore of the social fabric. This is the case with the College Entrance examination, for instance, not only is there an opposition between local families and officials, but also a conflict between local families and families from other provinces, and there are even diverging interests among families from other provinces, so confronted with this kind of situation, simply calling for equal education rights is just scratching the surface, and the problem is very difficult to solve.

Therefore, looking at opinion pieces against this background, we can see that we’re facing an urgent need for self-transformation, in order to restore the power of commentary and discussion. This involves large-scale self-initiated transformation that this kind of discourse must undergo, in line with changes in the media structure.

First, the flattering oily style of opinion pieces is already bankrupt. Today, whether it’s on weibo or WeChat, you can easily notice an elitist trend among opinion and comment, so this will require either a professionalisation of opinion writing, or increasingly high requirements in term of personal style; 而且各种平台的增多,更多专业人士的发声,让不深不浅、不专不一的评论写作者,变得毫无优势可言,外行话或价值先行的现象,比比皆是。

Second, today, apart from pieces that come with reverse values (like opinion pieces in the Global Times or the People’s Daily), the pieces themselves and their writers have already been hidden by the times. When we look back on the past year, how many good, enlightening opinion pieces can we remember reading?

Third, years of fighting between propaganda department censorship and commentary have completely overpowered opinion, they’ve been stuffed in corner, and now commentary has come to the edge of the cliff.

Therefore, in order to restore the authority of opinion, writers must no longer be allowed to just write behind closed doors and just sit pontificating: not only must commentators become social activists, but they have to become deeply involved in certain sectors. This involvement, as the most shallow result, will mean that opinion pieces become a form of news. When I say that opinion becomes news, I’m not talking about second hand news, or second rate news. Opinion actually produces news, and not just as an evaluation of the event or news, but it can be part of the news production process, and even be involved in the event itself. Taking my own work with the Southern Metropolitan Daily as an example, I have planned a series on ‘Spiritual matters and cultural transformation’, ‘new views’ and ‘grassroots design’. In fact, a few comments series have been planned along the news paradigm, and require their own planning and execution.

Furthermore, in order to impact on decision-making and policy, opinion writers can become a media think-tank. For instance, together with Professor Zeng and others, we have now set up the Anping Public fund, and I am now responsible for the ‘Anping Salon’, an attempt to create a joint platform for the non-profit, academic and media sectors, get involved in the events themselves, and finally influence decision making. I don’t come from a journalism major, but I studied sociology, so give more attention to social action, and in particular the power of turning discourse into social action (or even more, social movements).

Of course, this involvement in recreating power does not mean involvement such that neutrality and objectivity will be affected, but common sense and values must form the bottom line; the transition from words to action, the transition from criticism to constructive comment, from advocacy to intervention, in order to establish a new source of power for opinion discourse, otherwise, opinion will just increasingly become a ramble that the readers and public contemptuously ignore.

2 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

A digest of online China July 18-22Marco Polo Project blogreply
August 22, 2014 at 8:24 am

[…] this speech on ‘Media Power, media pluralism and media governance’, delivered at a forum on internet public communication, cultural analyst and leading journalist […]

Chinese people have voices. That’s plural.Marco Polo Project blogreply
August 27, 2014 at 10:08 am

[…] Media power, media pluralism, and media governance – 媒体权力,媒体多元主义与媒体治… […]

Leave a reply