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[China] More women becoming journalists
Latest Updated by 2006-12-04 10:13:10

Women will hold up half the sky in the world of Chinese journalism in the near future, according to official statistics.


In journalism schools female students have outnumbered male students in recent years, and there are more than 70,000 women journalists registered at the State Press and Publication Administration, nearly 40 per cent of the total 180,000.


The administration released the figures on November 7, one day before China's Journalist's Day.


"The percentage is higher than a decade ago, when our survey together with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences showed women journalists accounted for only one third of the total," said Sun Zhengyi, deputy director of the domestic department under the All-China Journalists' Association.


According to Luo Jianhui, office head of the School of Journalism and Communication with Renmin University of China, female students account for 65 per cent of journalism undergraduates enrolled this year.


Luo said the percentage of female students had been like this for a number of years now. "There was a year when there were only 20 male students among the total 120-odd journalism majors," he said.


The same trend is happening at Peking and Tsinghua universities, sources say.


Cheng Mei, professor of the Journalism School of Renmin University of China, said that more young women have realized that journalism is an attractive option.


China's journalism schools have never imposed gender restrictions, "but in the past young women preferred literature over journalism, because information was not so stressed then," she said.


Nowadays young women have realized the importance of information as well as the advantages they have as journalists, such as "ability to find newsworthy things from complicated social symptoms," she said.


Sun believed that women journalists are better at dealing with public relations than men.


More and more men are now choosing business over journalism, he said. In China, men account for 80 per cent of the total number of entrepreneurs.


"With such a trend there is no question that in the near future in journalism, women and men will be 50-50," he estimated.


China's journalists are also getting younger, according to the administration's statistics.


At present, journalists under the age of 40 account for 61 per cent of the total. Among them, more than 40,000 are between 20 and 30 years old, and about 73,000 are between 30 and 40.


China's news business is expanding rapidly. In late 1970s there were less than 200 newspapers, but the number now exceeds 1,900.


"Competition in the news business is more intense than ever before," said Cheng.


"Newspapers 20 years ago had only a few pages each day, and I knew a journalist who wrote only a few reports each month. There was no target for journalists then," said Sun.


Editor: Wing

By: Source:China Daily Website
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