Latest Directives From the Ministry of Truth, April 11-April 19, 2011

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 .” 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.

State Council Information Office: Alcohol at Sky-high Prices

April 19, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Websites are not to report or hype the story “At Guangdong Petrol, ‘Alcohol purchased at sky-high prices.’”  Reports that have already been posted must be deleted immediately.  On-line forums, blogs, micro-blogs, and other interactive spaces are not to circulate the story.  Delete harmful information meant to attack the Party, government, and social system.

国新办:天价酒

国新办:关于“广东石油分公司‘天价购酒’事件”,网站不报道,不炒作。已报道的,请立即删除。论坛、博客、微博客等互动环节不得推荐,删除借机攻击党和政府攻击社会制度等有害信息。

State Council Information Office: Elementary School Student in Yunnan Attacked

April 19, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Do not report or repost stories regarding the Yunnan elementary school student who was attacked.

All websites must strictly fulfill the demands regarding propaganda and reporting.  They are to strengthen control and surveillance of news comment spaces, blogs, on-line forums, micro-blogs, and other interactive tools.  Harmful information that attacks the Party and government, or attacks the socialist system of our nation must be deleted immediately.

国新办:云南小学生被袭击

国新办: 不得报道、转载云南小学生被袭击一事。

请各网站务必严格落实宣传报道要求。加强对新闻跟帖、博客、论坛、微博客等互动栏目的监控管理,对攻击党和政府攻击我国社会主义制度的有害信息必须及时删除。

State Council Information Office: The Case of Yao Jiaxin

April 17, 2011

State Council Information Office: Regarding the case of Yao Jiaxin hitting a person with his car and then stabbing her to death, all websites are requested to employ copy circulated from the Xinhua News Agency.  Do not conduct follow-up reports, and do not repost stories related to this case.

国新办:药家鑫案

国新办:关于药家鑫开车撞人刺死伤者一案,请各网站使用新华社通稿,不再作跟进性报道,不再转发有关此案的稿件

Central Propaganda Department: Chongqing Corruption Case

April 17, 2011

From the Central Propaganda Department: In the Chongqing corruption case, today the trial is set to begin over the case of Li Zhuang, the defense lawyer who is suspected of fabricating evidence.  Media and websites in all cases are to use copy circulated from the Xinhua News Agency.  Do not comment, do not hype, do not repost.

中宣部:重庆涉黑案件

中宣部:在重庆涉黑案件中,涉嫌造假的辩护律师李庄一案今天开庭审理。各媒体及网站一律用新华社通稿。不评论,不炒作,不转载

State Council Information Office: The Case of Li Zhuang

April 17, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Regarding reports on the trial over the case of Li Zhuang’s “crime leak” (lou zui 漏罪), only repost copy from the Xinhua News Agency.  Strengthen surveillance of news comment posts, on-line forums, blogs, microblogs, and other interactive spaces.  Delete harmful information in a timely manner.

国新办:李庄案

国新办:关于李庄漏罪案审理的报道,只转发新华社稿件,加强新闻跟帖、论坛、博客、微博客等互动栏目的管理,及时删除有害信息

Shanghai: Luxury Dinner for Shanghai Red Cross at Hui gongguan

April 16, 2011

From the Shanghai Municipal Propaganda Department Do not report on the luxury dinner at Hui Gongguan (a restaurant) costing close to 10,000 yuan, spent by the Shanghai Red Cross, Luwan District chapter.

上海:红十字会慧公馆消费

上海市委宣传部:关于本市卢湾区红十字会慧公馆一餐消费近万元一事不报道

Anhui: Zhou Wenbin’s  Recantation

April 14, 2011

From the Anhui Provincial Propaganda Department (issued at 3:00, April 14, 2011): Provincial media are to immediately return from Haozhou city, Lixin county.  Do not conduct further follow-up interviews or reports regarding Zhou Wenbin’s political recantation-style report information against leaders of the local land bureau.

安徽:周文彬自首

安徽省委宣传部(四月十四日下午三点):省属媒体马上从亳州市利辛县撤回,不得再追踪采访报道周文彬自首式举报国土局领导事件

Guangdong: Xing Dan Passes Away

April 14, 2011

From the Guangdong Provincial Propaganda Committee: All media are not to conduct their own interviews regarding the news that Xing Dan, Assistant Secretary of the Working Committee on Education for the Shenzhen Communist Youth League, has passed away.

广东:邢丹去世

广东省委宣传部:各媒体不要擅自采访共青团深圳市委教育工委副书记邢丹去世的消息

Shanghai: Disturbance at Luting North Road

April 13, 2011

From the Shanghai Municipal Propaganda Bureau: Today Do not conduct interview regarding the disturbance that occurred today at Luting North Road.  Wait for an integrated report to be issued.

上海:沪亭北路骚乱

上海市委宣传部:今天沪亭北路发生的骚乱事件不作采访,等候统一报道

State Council Information Office: American-style Lies”

April 13, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: For the article from Xinhua Network by Ren Junming, entitled, “Must the American-style lies continue to be told?”, all websites are requested to repost in a prominent position on their website front pages or the front pages of their opinion and commentary sections.

国新办:美国式的谎言

国新办:新华网任俊明的:”美国式的谎言还要继续说下去吗?“一文,请所有网站在网站首页及评论频道首页要闻区突出位置转发

State Council Information Office: Democratic Countries and Autocratic Countries

April 13, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested to immediately delete the article, “29 Differences Between Democratic Countries and Autocratic Countries,” as well as related information.  This is particularly required for all on-line interactive spaces.

国新办:民主国家与专制国家

国新办:请各网站迅速查删“民主国家与专制国家的29条区别”一文及相关信息,特别是各互动环节。

Beijing: Coal Gas Explosion in Heping Ward

April 11, 2011

From the Beijing Municipal Propaganda Department: Regarding the coal gas explosion in Heping Ward, Chaoyang District, media are not to conduct their own interviews or reports.

北京:和平北里煤气爆炸

北京市委宣传部:关于朝阳区和平里煤气爆炸一事,媒体不要擅自采访报道

In China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the , which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (), which has established an “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,” sends 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 .” The  (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  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 , the news is that their supposedly confidential instructions get tweeted as well.