Pupils and teachers pose for a selfie in front of a "smiling face wall" exhibit in Anhui province on Wednesday. The exhibit, in the former New Fourth Army Memorial Hall, celebrates the 19th Party Congress, starting next Wednesday. (CAO XIAODONG / FOR CHINA DAILY)
Domestic and overseas reporters will have a chance to interview delegates to the upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China as a special "delegates' passage" will be set up for the first time at the Great Hall of the People — the venue of the congress — to boost its transparency. [Special coverage]
Journalists were advised to arrive an hour early. Times and other details will be released by the congress's press center via its website and WeChat account, according to the Service Guide for Journalists issued by the press center, which opened on Wednesday.
Registered reporters from home and abroad started arriving at the press center on Wednesday to pick up their press cards for the all-important, once-in-five-year political event that is expected to map out China's development path in the coming years.
Wang Dongmei, deputy head of the Press Center of the 19th CPC National Congress, said introducing the delegates' passage will further facilitate media interviews with delegates and will help diversify their coverage of the congress.
At the two sessions in March, also held in the Great Hall of the People, a passage allowing media to ask questions of minister-level officials attending the annual gatherings of the top legislature and top political advisory body was introduced with success.
The "ministers' passage" won praise from media and observers by giving reporters a greater chance to raise questions on urgent public concerns.
Also on Wednesday, the press center's website and WeChat account were put into use.
Hu Xiaohan, head of the press center, noted this is the first time the congress's press center opened an official account on the popular social network WeChat.
The WeChat account will inform reporters of the congress's agenda, latest updates, announcements, notices and relevant information.
To echo the trend of media integration and rising need to bring news to social networks, the press center for the first time also set up an interview room offering access to 20 specially prepared cables to reach the internet, Hu said.
Yu Guoming, executive dean of Beijing Normal University's School of Journalism and Communication, said the new passage demonstrates the Party's efforts to innovate in its interactions with media and embrace greater openness.
While spokespersons make informational briefings in an official style, delegates come from various vocations, levels of expertise and places, and they may offer answers that better respond to public concerns, he said.