Ministry of Truth: Floods, Typhoons and Outposts

The following example of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, has 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.

Guangdong Provincial Department of Propaganda: (1) Sincerely fulfill the goals set out in reporting on the Beijing flood. (2) Reports on the effects of Typhoon Vicente on Guangdong, especially in Taishan, must be positive, objective and non-sensational. Emphasize the achievements of disaster response and do not exaggerate emergency conditions or tragic sentiments. Do not make reflective reports or commentary. (3) Use Xinhua copy when running stories on the founding of Sansha. Highlight this news in broadsheets.

广东省委宣传部:1对北京水灾报道的要求,要认真落实到位。2对台风韦森特对我省特别是台山市造成的影响,要坚持正面报道,客观不炒作,多报道抗灾救灾事迹,不渲染灾情和悲情,不反思性报道和评论。3对三沙市挂牌成立的报道要用好新华社的稿子,版面要相对突出些。