As CDT readers know, we regularly post propaganda orders which we call Directives from the Ministry of Truth. These posts are only possible because of the Internet; journalists leak the orders online and CDT verifies them before posting them. But without the Internet, China’s propaganda regime is notoriously opaque, with very little public information about what orders are given to journalists or how media work is guided. For this reason, a document recently discovered and translated by Rogier Creemers of the China Copyright and Media blog, offers a unique inside look at how authorities guided propaganda and ideology work in the wake of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on protesters in Beijing. The document was published in an internal training manual for Chinese journalists. An excerpt of Creemers’ translation of CCP Central Committee Notice concerning Strengthening Propaganda and Ideology Work from July 28, 1989:
III, Continuing to do propaganda end education work well to stop the rebellion, put down the riot and stabilize the situation.
At present, among a number of cadres and masses, and especially a number of university students and intellectuals, there still is a confused understanding concerning the truth, the nature and the source of this storm, concerning the policies and measures adopted by the Party Centre and the State Council, and even some erroneous viewpoints still exist here and there. It is necessary to unify people’s thoughts towards the analysis of Comrade Deng Xiaoping and the conclusion of the 4th Plenum, it is also necessary to do great amounts of arduous and meticulous propaganda, explanation and ideological education work. All levels’ Party organizations propaganda departments and the whole body of ideological and political work cadres must vigorously take up this complex and important task.
It is necessary to continue to organize Party members, cadres and the
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