Mainland media specialists have called for more funding to help transform the fledgling sector despite Beijing's stringent controls over it. Beijing recently issued a document banning public funds from investing in news organisations, but industry specialists said opportunities still existed as the sector was yet to take off. 'The recent document reiterated the Chinese Government's position on the sector, but I am not surprised,' said Yu Guo-ming, a journalism professor at People's University of China. Professor Yu spoke yesterday at a conference in Shenzhen on exploring media opportunities following China's accession to the World Trade Organisation. Professor Yu said many public funds had invested in media companies before Beijing issued the document, which was understood to be a sign it was tightening control on media ownership. But he said: 'You may miss the chance if you fail to understand the real situation.' Conference speakers agreed that mainland media, which had been treated as a means of publicity rather than business, were moving to commercialise and consolidate. 'It is a risky industry, like hunting a tiger, but it could capture a handsome profit,' said Cui Enqing, a publisher of Beijing Youth Daily from 1983 to 1996 and of the recently launched Beijing Entertainment Daily. Mr Cui believed the official newspapers would remain intact under the government banner but start-up publications targeting specific audiences would be the driving force behind industry growth. He said news organisations could be divided into editorial, advertising and distribution. 'I believe public funds are not allowed in the editorial operation, but they can help the advertising department, which serves as the commercial unit of the publication,' Mr Cui said. Mr Cui believed a successful new entrant could change the market landscape.