Latest Directives from the Ministry of Truth, September 23-30, 2010

The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

Regarding Japanese unauthorized entry into restricted military areas

September 30, 2010

For reports on the management and resolution of problems with Japanese people’s unauthorized entry into restricted military zones, use news from the Xinhua Agency as the norm.  All media outlets, including Internet sites, are not allowed to create their own copy.  Do not give commentary or follow-up reports.  Do not put stories on prominent pages, and only post them for a limited time.  This order must strictly be followed.

关于日方人员擅闯我军事禁区

关于日方人员擅闯我军事禁区的问题处理结果的报道,以新华社的消息为准。各媒体包括网站一律不得自采稿件、不评论、不滚动报道,不上重要版面、时段。要严格执行。

Regarding Chen Guangji

September 29, 2010

All newspapers are forbidden from reporting negative news about Chen Guangbiao.

关于陈光标

各报刊不得报道陈光标的负面新闻。

At the BYD shareholder’s convention, only pictures of Warren Buffett are allowed; pictures of Li Lu are not allowed

September 29, 2010

A directive from a Guangdong branch of the Ministry of Truth: When reporters are taking pictures at the BYD stockholder’s convention, they are “only allowed to take pictures of Warren Buffett, and not of Li Lu.”

Warren Buffett arrives at Shenzhen.  Li Lu accompanies him and is forbidden to make himself highly visible.  Security is extremely tight.

The government forbids the media from taking pictures of the entourage.

Morning Report (Ming bao) special dispatch: The “stock god” (gu shen 股神) Warren Buffett has finally embarked on his trip to China, and yesterday afternoon he arrived at Shenzhen to attend BYD’s annual convention at the Huaqiaocheng Intercontinental Hotel.  What has caught people’s attention is that the person accompanying Buffett is Li Lu, a former student leader during the 1989 protests whose arrest has been ordered by the Chinese government.  Because of Li Lu’s distinct status, the Guangdong provincial committee propaganda bureau has demanded that media outlets not take pictures of people in Buffett’s entourage.  Security during the convention is also extremely tight, with some tens of security officers guarding the door to the hotel and requiring that convention attendees pass through a security check and submit to a metal inspection.

Buffett arrived in Shenzhen yesterday by private helicopter, opening a four-day long tour of China.  At 4:20 pm, he arrived for his stay at the Huaqiaocheng Hotel, where he will attend BYD’s annual shareholders’ convention.  His motorcade had 10 cars, with Buffett in the middle, riding a mid-sized van and sitting next to the window.  Two rows behind him sat Li Lu, wearing glasses and a collared shirt.  Even though, compared to 21 years ago, he has put on some weight, Li Lu still looked quite energetic.  The motorcade traveled about 50 km/hr as it passed into the private road up to the hotel.

Li Lu carries a U.S. passport with a special visa

Li Lu, now 44, was a student at Nanjing University in 1989.  He went to Tian’anmen Square to participate in the student movement, and after the June 4th massacre, he escaped to France and then eventually reached the U.S.  He is now a Chinese-American investor, investment fund manager, and the founding chairman of Himalaya Partners.

According to information obtained by this newspaper, Li Lu entered the country carrying a U.S. passport, receiving special permission from the PRC government.  Li returns to the mainland serving as a go-between for Buffett as he invests in BYD, but because he is still classified by the Public Security Bureau as a “wanted criminal,” his status is particularly sensitive.  Before Buffett arrived, the Guangdong provincial propaganda committee forbade the local media from reporting any news related to Li Lu, and limited them to take photographs only of Buffett, adding that, “it is not allowed to publish photographs of people traveling with Buffett.”

On the surface, it appears that this meeting was organized by BYD, but the propaganda bureau controls the press entering the site.  Other than three Shenzhen-area media outlets, the others are all from central government media.  No member of the Hong Kong press has been allowed entry.  Beyond having to pass through a security checkpoint, each person who enters the site has to submit to a metal detector and body search.  Several tens of security personnel are on guard at the main entrance, and all personnel are extremely tight-lipped about the activities for the meeting.  At 4:30, after the meeting had started, the security personnel locked the entrance with a chain and a few who arrived late were not allowed in.

Strict limits on interviews; closed off to Hong Kong media

After Buffett waited in the hotel’s VIP room, he rode one of the hotel’s electric carts to the meeting hall, which immediately became energized.  Buffett, 80, wore a black suit and white shirt, and had a vigorous air about him.  He and his partner went together to sit at the main platform, and both gave speeches.  One other point on the meeting’s agenda included an agreement between BYD and China Southern Power.

Traveling to visit Huizhou, Beijing, and Changsha

From the 27th to the 30th, Buffett’s trip to China will include travel to Huizhou, Beijing, and Changsha.  During this trip to China, Buffett will also meet with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and host a banquet on philanthropy together with 50 or 60 Chinese friends.  In their invitation letter to the banquet, the two friends clearly indicated that it was “a private gathering requiring no monetary contribution.”  The main goal was to provide an opportunity for people interested in philanthropy to enjoy an evening together.

比亚迪大会只准拍摄巴菲特 不准拍摄李禄

真理部广东分舵指示:记者拍摄比亚迪大会时,“只准拍摄巴菲特,不能拍摄李禄”。

巴菲特抵深圳 李錄隨行禁「現身」 保安森嚴 官方禁傳媒拍攝隨行人員
(明報)2010年9月28日 星期二 05:05

【明報專訊】「股神」巴菲特中國行終於成行,昨日下午巴菲特一行低調抵達深圳,並出席比亞迪 (01211)在華僑城洲際酒店舉行的年會,引人注目的是與巴菲特同行的曾被中國政府通緝的八九學運領袖李錄。由於李錄身分特殊,廣東省委宣傳部要求媒體不得拍攝巴菲特的隨行人士,而會場保安亦十分嚴格,酒店門口有數十名安保人員把守,與會者還要過安檢門及接受金屬探測。

巴菲特昨日下午乘私人飛機抵達深圳,展開為期4天的中國之行,他於下午4時20分到達下榻的華僑城洲際酒店,出席比亞迪公司的年會。車隊共約10輛車,巴菲特坐在一輛中巴車中間靠前的窗口位,而與他相隔兩排的後排位置,則是戴眼鏡、身穿恤衫的李錄,李錄雖較21年前略顯發福,但仍十分精神。車隊以近50公里的時速快速穿過酒店的特別通道。

李錄持美護照 獲特別批准

現年44歲的李錄,1989年時就讀於南京大學,曾到天安門 廣場參與學運,六四 事件後,他逃往法國 ,最後抵達美國 。現為美籍華裔投資家兼對冲基金經理,對冲基金Himalaya Partners的創辦人。

據本報獲悉,李錄今次是持美國護照入境,並經中國官方的特別批准,是作為巴菲特入股比亞迪牽線人重返內地,但由於其仍是公安部的「通緝犯」,身分較為敏感。在巴菲特抵達前,廣東省委宣傳部已要求當地傳媒不得報道有關李錄新聞,拍攝時亦要求只能拍攝巴菲特一人,「不得發布巴菲特同行人員的照片。」

今次會場安排,表面由比亞迪公司負責,但傳媒入場則由宣傳部掌控,內地除深圳3家媒體外,其餘都是中央傳媒。香港則無一家傳媒獲准入內。會場內外保安森嚴,除要通過安檢門外,每名入場者均要再經過工作人員以金屬探測儀搜身。數十名保安人員在大門外戒備,對於活動安排所有職員均三緘其口。到4時30 分,會議開始後,安保人員更將大門用鐵鏈反鎖,部分遲到者一度不得其門而入。

嚴限採訪 港傳媒吃閉門羹

巴菲特在酒店VIP室稍作休息後,乘酒店的電瓶車到宴會廳。會場立即騷動起來。80歲的巴菲特身穿黑色西裝、白色襯衣,精神奕奕。他和搭檔一起到主席台就坐並發表演講。年會的另一個議程是比亞迪與南方電網簽約。

將赴惠州北京 長沙訪問

由27日到30日,巴菲特的中國之行分別到深圳、惠州、北京、長沙。今次訪華,巴菲特還會與微軟 創辦人蓋茨一道,與50至60位中國友人共進慈善晚宴。兩人早前在邀請函中註明,這是「一次私人盛會,不要求現場捐款」,主要目的是與那些對慈善活動感興趣的人分享經驗。

Do not report on Anyuanding’s detentions of visiting petitioners

September 26, 2010

Regarding incidents of Beijing security company Anyuanding detaining petitioners, websites in all cases may not issue reports.  Reports already issued must immediately be deleted.  Websites that have not complied will be penalized.

不报道安元鼎截访

关于北京安元鼎保安公司拦截上访一事,网站一律不报道,已报道的要立即删除。未按要求落实的网站,将予以处罚。

Secretary Zhang forbidden from match

September 26, 2010

From the Beijing Internet Propaganda and Management Office: It is forbidden to allow “Secretary Zhang,” manager of the online BBS 1984 (1984bbs), to participate in online and media soccer league matches.

“张书记”禁赛

北京市网络宣传管理办公室:禁止1984bbs管理员“张书记”参加网媒足球联赛。

Stop selling all books published in Hong Kong and Taiwan after 1985

September 23, 2010

Confucius Used Books Network: We have received an urgent notice from a higher level supervisory bureau, demanding the immediate stoppage of sales at bookstores and bookstands of books published after 1985 in Hong Kong and Taipei, so that they can be rectified.  If your bookstore has books published after 1985 in Hong Kong or Taipei, please quickly cooperate and remove them from the shelves.  If you are not able to determine the precise publishing date of some books, you must also remove them from the shelves.  For specific related arrangements, after our website continues cooperating and communicating with higher authorities, we will issue further announcements.  For this, the website expresses its deepest apologies and hopes you will be able to forgive us!

停销85年之后出版的港台书籍

孔夫子旧书网:接到上级管理部门的紧急通知,要求立即暂停书店和书摊85年之后出版的所有港台版图书的销售并进行整顿。如果您的书店有85年之后出版的港台书,请及时配合下架。如果不能判断具体出版时间的也要现行下架。具体其他相关事宜,网站会继续跟上级部门协调沟通之后另行公布。为此,网站深表歉意,希望您能谅解!

Xiao Qiang: “Standard copy” A signature method of the CCP for controlling the Internet

September 30, 2010

In the last two years, on Chinese Internet sites one often comes across postings that Internet users have termed “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” Some of them are direct orders given to media outlets from the Central Propaganda Bureau, but quite a few are also orders given by the State Council Information Office to lower-level offices, which they usually transmit to websites under their management as propaganda directives.

In the past, this sort of information was a secret closely guarded from the people by those in power. But in today’s age of the Internet, many in the know hide their names and release some of the content of these directives online. Reading the various directives sent out, one sees some interesting details about how the Chinese government controls the Internet and media outlets.

Today, what I would like to talk about is one of those details, directives known as “standard copy sources” (guifan gaoyuan 规范稿源).

Amongst these directives, one often sees expressions such as “for this content, only standard copy sources are permitted.” Now, what exactly is a “standard copy source?” It is a special term used by propaganda bureaus in managing media outlets, usually online. It refers to media outlets and websites with special permission and recognition from high-level propaganda bureaus. They all belong to what the CCP believes to be the most competent and trustworthy sources, so we might term them “direct mouthpieces” (dixi houshe 嫡系喉舌).

I would like to thank one person familiar with these directives known as “Yi Zhisheng” 一知声 (“All-knowing voice”). On April 30, 2007, this person, in a document titled “2007 Annual Report on Control and Anti-Control Measures on the Internet in China,” directly revealed a roster of “media outlets classified as standard sources,” issued to all websites by the news management agency of the State Council.

According to this roster, we can directly identify which outlets are the “standard copy sources,” or “direct mouthpieces.” They include the Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily (Renmin ribao), Chinese Central Television (CCTV) and other official media directly under the central government, the official media, totaling 67 sources.

There are also provincial-level sources, including newspapers and television and radio stations at the provincial and sub-provincial levels, such as Beijing People’s Broadcast Channel, Beijing Television, and Beijing Daily (Beijing ribao), totaling 136 sources. The roster also includes a long string of provincial capital and city-level news units, and provincial level evening newspapers, such as Taiyuan Evening News (Taiyuan wanbao), Yanzhao Evening News (Yanzhao wanbao), and This Evening (Jin wan bao).

Having several hundreds of official newspapers, television stations, and radio stations is apparently not enough. This roster of “official copy sources” also includes a long string of key news websites, extending from the level of central ministries and committees down to provincial cities, autonomous areas, and directly-administered municipalities. This is to say that officially managed websites are also amongst the “direct mouthpieces.” These include People’s Network (Renmin wang) and Xinhua Network (Xinhua wang), as well as several tens of sites including those of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Commerce, and Finance; the National Development and Reform Committee (Development and Reform Committee); and the provincial Northern Network (Beifang wang), Jilin Network (Jilin wang), and Eastern Network (Dongfang wang).

Expressions with the term “standard copy source” are all directives given down to large Internet portals by bureaus controlling the Internet. In China, these large portals, whether Sina.com and Sohu.com or Wangyi.com and Tengxun.com, not only have no power over selection and editing content. Moreover, on issues of import in contemporary politics, they are often directed by orders from Internet control bureaus that say, “you can only use content from standard copy sources.”

If content is really grouped together and sent down in a continuous flow from the several hundreds of standard copy sources, then the front pages of Sina, Sohu, and Netease have almost no room to put more interesting material.

However, in China, people often say: “when a policy comes from above, a countermeasure comes from below.” The editors of these commercial Internet portals, in order to make their websites able to attract Internet users, have thought up a method that plays just on the edge of what is acceptable. For example, via platforms with user-produced content, such as on-line forums and blogs, they post information under the name of Internet users, and thus report more content from “anti-standard copy sources.”

Then, on the front page they give a link to direct people to the content. This way, even if Internet control bureaus complain, the companies can say that a visitor to the site issued the offending post. They thus are not interviews created by the site, nor do they belong to an official copy source.

This creates an interesting phenomenon: on the one hand the front page of Internet portals are entirely grand compendia completely managed as “direct mouthpieces.” At the same time, the editors of these websites use content on online forums and blogs to issue unofficial content on the front pages. Internet users also have other means to create their own media, which I can describe in a later discussion.

(Transcript from a tape, unrevised)

Source: Radio Free Asia

萧强:“规范稿源”中共对网络信息控制的特殊手段

最近这两年,在中文的互联网上常常可以看到被网民称作是“真理部指令”的帖子,其中有的直接就是中宣部给国内各媒体下达的各种禁令,也有不少是国务院新闻办公室给下级网管办公室、或者是直接给所管的网络媒体发出的宣传指令。

这一类的信息在过去从来就是统治者向人民秘而不宣的秘密。不过在今天网络时代,很多有心的知情者常常匿名在网上把中间的一些内容披露出来。而读读这些五花八门的禁令,也可以看得出中国政府如何控制网络和媒体的一些有趣的细节。

今天,我想谈的是中间的一个细节,就是关于“规范稿源”这种禁令。

在这些真理部的指令中,常常会提到“关于如下内容,只准使用规范稿源”的这个字样。那么,所谓“规范稿源”是什么呢?这是宣传部门管制媒体、或者是在网站上使用的一个专用名词,指的就是一类被上级宣传部门认可、指定的媒体、或者网站,都属于党认为是最得力、最信得过的那种,我们也不妨将其翻译成“嫡系喉舌”。

我想感谢一位名叫“一知声”的知情者。这位知情者在一份叫做“2007年中国网络监控和反监控年度报告”的文献中,直接就披露了国务院新闻办公室在2007年4月30号向各个网站发布的“规范稿源内的媒体”的名单。

根据这份名单,我们可以直接看到这些“规范稿源”、或者说“嫡系喉舌”都是哪些。它们有《新华社》、《人民日报》、中央电视台等中央直属的官媒、或者官方媒体,一共有67家。

然后还有各个省级、或者省级、副省级直属的日报、电视台、电台,象北京人民广播电台、北京电视台、《北京日报》等等,一共136家。它还包括一大串的各地省会城市的新闻单位和省级的晚报,像什么《太原晚报》、《燕赵晚报》、《今晚报》等等。

有了这么数百家官方报纸、电视、电台,还嫌不够。这个“规范媒体”的名单还包括一长串从中央部委到各省市、自治区、直辖市的重点新闻网站,也就是说官办的网媒也在“嫡系喉舌”之中。像人民网、新华网,还有外交部、卫生部、商务部、财务部,以及国家发展和改革委员会、也就是发改委,以及省一级的北方网、吉林网、东方网等几十家。

那么以上这些关于“规范稿源”的说法,都是网管部门对各大门户网站下的指令。而在中国的那些大门户网站,不管是新浪也好、搜狐也好,以及网易、腾讯等,不仅没有采编权,而且在重大的时政事件上,经常就被网管部门规定说“只是可能使用规范稿源的内容”。

要真的是根据这洋洋洒洒数百家的规范稿源,把内容聚合下来,在新浪上、搜狐、或者是网易的主页上,几乎就没有别的地方可以放有意思的内容了。

不过中国的事情,人常说是“上有政策,下有对策”,这些商业门户网站的编辑们为了让自己的网页能够吸引网民,也想尽了“打擦边球”的办法。比如,透过论坛、博客这种用户产生内容的平台,用网友的名义发帖,来报道更多的所谓“非规范稿源”的内容。

然后呢,在它的首页给了一个链接来推荐。这样,即使是网管部门怪罪下来,这些公司也可以说那是网友自己发的帖子,既不是他们自己的采访、也不属于这个规范的稿源。

这就形成了一个有趣的现象,那就是一方面首页的门户网站尽是这种“嫡系喉舌”的集成管,同时这些网站的编辑又透过论坛、博客的内容,设法将不是官方指定的内容推上首页。而对网民来说,他们自己却有另外的技术和方式来创建自己的媒体,这一点我可以在下次的评论里接着论述。

(根据录音整理,未经作者审校)

来源,自由亚洲电台

Read more about the “Ministry of Truth” via CDT:

In China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the Central Propaganda Department, which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (SCIO), which has established “Internet Affairs Bureau” to oversee all Websites that publish news, including the official sites of news organizations as well as independent sites that post news content.

This “Internet Affairs Bureau,” sent out very specific instructions to all large news websites daily, and often multiple times per day. Those instructions do not always mean that related contents are completely banned online, but they instruct websites to highlight or suppress certain type of opinions or information in a very detailed manner.
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions, as well as other type of censorship orders to media and websites, as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” TheMinistry of Truth (or Minitrue, in Newspeak) is one of the four ministries that govern Oceania in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the Chinese blogosphere, it is the online nickname for the Central Propaganda Department and generally speaking, all other subordinate propaganda agencies including Internet supervision departments.

Today, it’s been said that news does not break, it tweets. For the officials in the the Ministry of Truth, the news is that their supposedly confidential instructions get tweeted as well.