Propaganda Department: A 21-Point Directive On Reporting Olympics

Bob Dietz writes on CPJ.org:

An interesting piece, “Screws tighten on mainland journalists,” ran in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s largest English-language daily. SCMP staff in Beijing spoke with some Chinese reporters recently and they told SCMP of a 21-point directive that came down last month from the Central Department. Taboo subjects include everything from seating arrangements for dignitaries at the opening ceremonies, food safety issues, and an outright ban on using any source of information other than the official Xinhua News Agency for Games-related scandals. The standard rules for referring to Taiwan (the acceptable form is “Chinese Taipei” not the Republic of China (Taiwan) were also on the list, but no mainland Chinese reporter really needs to be reminded of that.

A Chinese blogger just posted the full text of the 21 points (in Chinese) on his blog, its translation is already in theage.com.au:

The propaganda bureau’s 21-point plan

1. The telecast of sports events will be live [but] in case of emergencies, no print is allowed to report on it.

2. From August 1, most of the previously accessible overseas websites will be unblocked. No coverage is allowed on this development. There’s also no need to use stories published overseas on this matter and [website] operators should not provide any superlinks on their pages.

3. Be careful with religious and ethnic subjects.

4. Don’t make fuss about foreign leaders at the opening ceremony, especially in relation to seat arrangements or their private lives.

5. We have to put special emphasis on ethnic equality. Any perceived racist terms as “black athlete” or “white athlete” is not allowed. During the official telecast, we can refer to Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei”. In ordinary times, refer to Taiwanese athletes as “those from the precious island Taiwan…..” In case of any pro Taiwan-independence related incident inside the venue, you shall follow restrictions listed in item 1.

6. For those ethnic Chinese coaches and athletes who come back to Beijing to compete on behalf of other countries, don’t play up their “patriotism” since that could backfire with their adopted countries.

7. As for the Pro-Tibetan independence and East Turkistan movements, no coverage is allowed. There’s also no need to make fuss about our anti-terrorism efforts.

8. All food safety issues, such as cancer-causing mineral water, is off-limits.

9. In regard to the three protest parks, no interviews and coverage is allowed.

10. No fuss about the rehearsals on August 2,5. No negative comments about the opening ceremony.

11. No mention of the Lai Changxing case.

12. No mention of those who illegally enter China.

13. On international matters, follow the official line. For instance, follow the official propaganda line on the North Korean nuclear issue; be objective when it comes to the Middle East issue and play it down as much as possible; no fuss about the Darfur question; No fuss about UN reform; be careful with Cuba. If any emergency occurs, please report to the foreign ministry.

14. If anything related to territorial dispute happens, make no fuss about it. Play down the Myanmar issue; play down the Takeshima island dispute.

15. Regarding diplomatic ties between China and certain nations, don’t do interviews on your own and don’t use online stories. Instead, adopt Xinhua stories only. Particularly on the Doha round negotiation, US elections, China-Iran co-operation, China-Aussie co-operation, China-Zimbabwe co-operation, China-Paraguay co-operation.

16.Be very careful with TV ratings, only use domestic body’s figures. Play it down when rating goes down.

17. In case of an emergency involving foreign tourists, please follow the official line. If there’s no official line, stay away from it.

18. Re possible subway accidents in the capital, please follow the official line.

19.Be positive on security measures.

20. Be very careful with stock market coverage during the Games.

21.Properly handle coverage of the Chinese sports delegation:

A. Don’t criticise the selection process

B. Don’t overhype gold medals; don’t issue predictions on gold medal numbers; don’t make fuss about cash rewards for athletes.

C. Don’t make a fuss about isolated misconducts by athletes.

D. Enforce the publicity of our anti-doping measures.

E. Put emphasis on government efforts to secure the retirement life of athletes.

F. Keep a cool head on the Chinese performance. Be prepared for possible fluctuations in the medal race.

G. Refrain from publishing opinion pieces at odds with the official propaganda line of the Chinese delegation.

21点中文版

1、本次广电直播不延时,如遇现场突出情况,无新闻宣传协调小组通知,所有媒体不得报道;如需报道,会有正式通知

2、从8月1日,对所有境外注册的境外网站,全面解封不得报道,也不得转载、链接。

3、慎重把握民族、宗教问题报道,对本会提供的宗教服务,境内一般不报。

4、对外国政要观看开幕式,不炒作,对座次不报道,不评论,对私生活不报道

5、要体现平等原则,各族运动员一律平等,不得出现白人、黑人运动员称呼;正式直播时对台可称“中华台北”平时亦可称“来自宝岛台湾的……”如出现台独……按第1条处理,

6、对海外华人来京,不简单归结为“爱国热情”,以免对其造成被动,如:栾菊杰、郎平

7、藏 独、东 突不报,对反恐不炒作

8、矿泉水致癌等食品安全一律不报

9、对北京3个专供示威公园一事,一律不采访,不报道

10、2、5的彩排不炒作,不报细节,对8号的只能说好,不能说“NO”

11、不炒赖昌星问题

12、不报非法入境人员,不报在华外国人事件

13、有关国际问题的报道,如朝核按统一口径;中东客观、低调;苏丹达尔福尔等不炒作;不炒联合国有关改革;慎重古巴问题;如出现突发事件,要报外交部

14、涉及近邻领土纠纷,不炒作;有关独岛不表明立场、不评论;缅甸问题淡化,不炒作

15、对中国和一些国家双边关系,地方不采访,不转网络稿,只用新华社稿件,尤其是多哈回合谈判、美大选、中伊合作、中澳合作、中与津巴布韦合作、中与巴拉圭合作等有关热点问题;

16、慎报奥运电视收视率情况,只能用境内权威机构发布的情况,如出现下降,不炒作;

17、境外游客发生意外,要按统一口径报道;没有要求则不报;

18、对首都地铁可能发生的事故,要统一报道口径

19、对安保措施,正面引导

20、股市报道要谨慎

21、妥善处理中国代表团的报道

A、运动员的选拔问题不说三道四,不反思

B、不炒金牌;不预测金牌数,不将成绩作为唯一参赛指标,不炒运动员的奖励

C、正确对待运动员的文明礼仪,理解个别人的不当表现,不炒作

D、加大反兴奋剂的宣传力度,突出立场,措施、成就

E、正确宣传对运动员的保障工作,宣传国家社会共同努力、尽最大可能解决其退役后的安置问题,对个别情况不炒作,不放大;

F、冷静分析我运动员的参赛情况,对可能出现的金牌排名变化情况,要客观,适当报道

G、凡涉及中国代表团的新闻,要遵守宣传口径,不随意报道,发表不同意见