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V2 Technology's video conference system accelerates the computerization of China's media industry

Oct 23, 2008

Transforms and stimulates the print media industry

Broadcasting and television are both twentieth century means of mass communication. On Christmas Eve in 1906 a few English radio engineers received some bible stories and a Christmas blessing transmitted from Massachusetts, thus issuing in the era of radio communications. During the 20th century radio swept across the world. During the Second World War, President Roosevelt's "fireside chat" was listened to in almost every American home. With the spread of broadcasting, print media experienced fierce competition. Some observers suggested that newspapers would quickly become obsolete. But the predictions were proven wrong. By changing the language of newspapers, increasing the depth of their reporting and the exploratory nature of their journalism and business methods, the print media gained new life. Both broadcasting and print media were stimulated and developed by this competition.

From 1986 to 1995, the Internet gradually became established as a popular and commercial tool. After that, it entered into all areas of social life and production and became an important medium for the propagation of information. In recent years, some powerful web sites have seen a rapid increase in their hit rates and income from advertisements has rapidly increased. Again, there are observers who prophecy that the end of the newspaper has finally truly arrived, and even some who see the end of broadcasting, television and magazines and believe that all these media will be swallowed up and replaced by the Internet.

From the perspective of historical evolution, and from the perspective of the regular rise and fall of media formats, in the news field there has never been a kind of mass medium that has been exterminated due to the arrival of a new medium. New media don't arrive out of nowhere by themselves -- they are gradually developed from the structures of existing media. After the arrival of new forms of media, traditional media don't generally disappear, but continue to evolve and adapt. Every new medium, to a greater or lesser degree, enriches mankind's communications potential. In actual fact, the various forms of media can not only coexist, but assist each other in diversification and further development.

The road to computerization of the Chinese print media industry

As far as China's print industry groups are concerned, ten years is a very short time, there are many factors which are still being worked out. But ten years is also a very long time, in that with the arrival of the modern age of rapid development of digital technology, they are faced with competition from brand new types of media, the Internet, the mobile phone and so on, as well as the internationalization of the field of competition etc. This has driven traditional conventional media onto a somewhat zigzag path. The last ten years have been memorable and the future is to be eagerly anticipated. Permeating both past and future development is a crucial concept, which is the creative adoption of information technology.

Using cutting edge technology and equipment to create a high-efficiency product, industry and management environment, has always been the focus of the media communications industry in China. Currently, in China's newspaper industry, there is no strong industry standard digital support platform, so that every segment of the industry just does things their own way, failing to share valuable information and make the best use of it. In today's rapid acceleration of the industrialization of the newspaper industry, if they want to be as competitive as possible and offer the best possible service, they need to implement a thorough technical revolution along international lines including standardization and technical liberalization through overall digital information management. They need to use technological methods to reform newspaper publishing, to create breakthroughs in operation and management.

Since 1999, Guangzhou Daily has entered a phase of rapid development, and at the same time a period of maturity, and along with the development of Internet, Wap, BBS and all kinds of information technology, Guangzhou Daily has ascended to a new level of information technology use. The Guangzhou Daily Company has more than a hundred branch offices and journalist stations nationwide, and ordinary telephone and mail is often not really adequate for communication. Since they are an important media platform for the government and the Communist Party, this problem became very pressing. The management of the company, after researching the new technology and after careful consideration decided to adopt the most advanced communications technology and opted for a video conferencing system as their communications solution.

The primary need of newspaper companies when considering information technology is the exchange, control and coordination of operation and production, and the management of personnel, funds and materials. These factors require the ability to communicate and exchange intelligence as freely and reliably as possible. As a leading player in the newspaper industry, Guangzhou Daily Company needs not only audio quality equivalent to traditional telephone communications, but also needs to guarantee the safety and reliability of audio and visual communications and to be able to carry out efficient and cost-effective video conferences. At present, Guangzhou Daily has established close cooperative links with Japan, America, France, Canada and also the special administrative region of Hong Kong. Because of the rapid speed of development, they need to be able to communicate promptly with all these regions. After exhaustive investigation of a variety of software and hardware video conferencing systems they eventually chose V2 Conference as their preferred video conferencing solution.

V2 Conference system at Guangzhou Daily is simple to use and can be operated from the user terminal via a web page. There are no limitations as to time or location. Users can convene impromptu or pre-arranged conferences from anywhere that they can connect to the Internet. To convene a video conference there's no need to run up and down stairs. To discuss important issues with colleagues in other locations, there's no need to plan a business trip. To call a conference, you just need to pick up the video phone next to you and visual communication can commence. This kind of effective communication not only saves time, but improves work efficiency. After the system was implemented, not only was it welcomed by the staff, but was noticed by several other businesses. At the moment, other prominent companies using V2 Conference include Zhejiang Daily, Coca Cola (China), Hangzhou Wahaha Group, Wal-Mart (China), ChinaHR, Nanfang Media Group etc.

Information technology opens a new dawn for print media

"Technology can act as a spur for the transformation of industry, no matter how information technology works out at Guangzhou Daily, we are chiefly guided by market competition in searching for effective technical products to promote our development." These were the comments of Liang Quan, chief engineer at Guangzhou Daily, and witness to and promoter of the introduction of new information technology at the newspaper.

From "being pushed into the IT age" to "vie to be first in the IT age", from "buy a PC and smarten up the shop front" to "thoroughly computerize production and management", from "IT drives industrialization" to "industrialization drives IT", the progress of information technology in Chinese industry is deeper and broader by the day.

Recently, at the conference of the World Association of Newspapers in Spain, top managers from traditional media heard the following viewpoint: "Without the Internet and digital editions, the newspaper has no future". This reminds us again that information and network technology is tremendously important to the future of newspapers. The adoption of information technology is the only way forward now for newspaper companies, and one of the most important basic requirements for the foundation of a modern newspaper company. This is not merely with regard to the development environment facing modern newspapers, but also from the point of view of the basic advantages of IT itself, it is now a crucial factor in the development of the newspaper industry.