People's Daily

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People's Daily
Front page on 1 October 1949
(the day the PRC was established)
Type Daily newspaper
Owner(s) Communist Party of China
Publisher Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Founded 15 June 1948
Political alignment Socialism with Chinese characteristics
Language Chinese
Headquarters No. 2 Jintai Xilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Website (English) (Simplified Chinese)
People's Daily
Simplified Chinese 人民日报
Traditional Chinese 人民日報

The People's Daily is a daily newspaper in China. The paper is an official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, published worldwide with a circulation of 13 to 14 million. In addition to its main Chinese-language edition, it has editions in English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Tibetan, Kazakh, Uyghur, Zhuang, Mongolian, Korean and other minority languages in China. Similar to Pravda's relationship with the Soviet Union, the newspaper provides direct information on the policies and viewpoints of the government.


The paper was established on 15 June 1946 and was published in Pingshan, Hebei, until its offices were moved to Beijing in March 1949. Ever since its founding, the People's Daily has been under direct control of the Party's top leadership. Deng Tuo and Wu Lengxi served as editor-in-chief from 1948–1958 and 1958–1966, respectively, but the paper was in fact controlled by Mao's personal secretary Hu Qiaomu.[citation needed]

During the Cultural Revolution, the People's Daily was one of the few sources of information from which either foreigners or Chinese could figure out what the Chinese government was doing or planning to do. During this period, an editorial in the People's Daily would be considered an authoritative statement of government policy, was studied and reproduced nationwide, and analyzed globally for insight into the Party's plans.

Newspaper articles in the People's Daily are often not read for content so much as placement. A large number of articles devoted to a political figure or idea is often taken as a sign that the mentioned official or subject is rising. Likewise with articles on geographical areas foreign or domestic; recently increased interest in Latin America has been shown.

In China, like in the rest of the world, visibility and prominence in official media communicates power.

Editorials in the People's Daily are regarded both by foreign observers and Chinese readers as authoritative statements of official government policy. Thus studied with care. Distinction is made between editorials, commentaries, and opinions. Although all must be government approved, they differ sharply on the amount of official authoritativeness they contain by design - from the top.

For example, although an opinion piece is unlikely to contain views opposed to those of the government, it may express a viewpoint, or it may contain a debate that is under consideration and reflect only the opinions of the writer. In other words, an editorial trial balloon to assess internal public opinion. By contrast, an official editorial, which is rather infrequent, means that the government has reached a final decision on an issue.

During the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, the People's Daily editorial of 26 April, which condemned "unlawful parades and demonstrations," marked a significant moment in the newspaper's history.[1] The editorial increased tension between the government and protesters, and top CPC leaders argued about whether to revise it.

Since the mid-1990s, the People's Daily has faced a decline of governmental subsidies combined with increasing competition from international news sources and Chinese tabloids. As part of its effort to modernize, it began an online edition in 1997, and the web bulletin forums, such as the Strengthening Nation Forum in the Chinese edition, has been known for their surprisingly candid content.

The People's Daily is also responsible for the publication Global Times,[2] and hosts the Strengthening Nation Forum on its website.[3]

The internet new portal of People's Daily includes pages in Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and English. In comparison to the original Chinese version, the foreign language version offer less in-depth discussion of domestic policies and affairs and more editorial about China's foreign policies and motives, often explaining China's positive intentions.[4] In addition, the portals runs an English page dedicated to Tibet, which can be understood as means to show China's positive attitude towards the province, which has become a major point of controversy worldwide.

The People's Daily also maintains a multilingual internet presence; and established the People's Daily Online (人民网) in 1997 and the search engine Jike (即刻 "immediately") in 2010.[5]

List of chief officers

See also


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  4. Chinese and English versions of China's leading news portals – Two styles of journalism, Thinking Chinese, August 2011
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Further reading

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 264-72
  • Wu Guoguang. "Command Communication: The Politics of Editorial Formulation in the People's Daily". China Quarterly 137:194–211.
  • People's Daily. "人民日报基本情况" ("Basic facts about the People's Daily"), 2003-05-14.

External links