Ministry of Truth: News Media Battle Lines

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.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

Journalism is a tough profession the world over, but Chinese journalists face a special set of obstacles. Juggling the needs of the public and the demands of the government, they struggle to report the news without overstepping the censors’ ever-shifting boundaries. There are, of course, certain stories they can never tell: about Tiananmen, for example. But reporters were also barred from visiting the site of last year’s high-speed rail crash, despite the government’s public dismissal of corrupt Railway Ministry officials whose negligence lead to the tragedy. A number of prominent players in independent media were reshuffled or quit this summer after running “sensitive” stories, leading some to wonder if restrictions on the media will continue to tighten.

The instructions below offer a glimpse of what Chinese media professionals are up against. Issued jointly by various municipal propaganda and media bureaus in March to the media of “a certain city” (the Shandong capital Jinan is mentioned several times), the document outlines everything from conducting interviews to airtime for commercials, from licenses to microblogs. Some of the guidelines are reasonable enough: verify sources, tell the truth, don’t accept bribes. Then there are vague injunctions to “propagate advanced culture.” And then, tucked among the common sense and the jargon, are prohibitions like these:

As a principle, reports which include images or video from the scenes of accidents, disasters, court cases and epidemics should not feature prominently on the page or serve as the leading stories of radio and TV news programs.

Incidents with a small range of influence or without serious consequence need not be publicly reported… Incidents which attract international attention but which do not need to be reported domestically may be just reported to foreign audiences.

Ensure that live studio broadcasts and participation through hotlines remains manageable and controllable by utilizing broadcast delaying equipment and reserving safety telephone lines.

No one rule is particularly surprising, but the totality of these instructions show just how much of a gulf lies between a free press and what exists in China today. A Certain City is exhorted to draw the “news battle line” in the fight for public attention, to advance towards the “grassroots” in order to keep the public under its control. The media are to foster a “positive, healthy and progressive mainstream public opinion” which loves reality and shuns reality shows. In the war for hearts and minds, sometimes the media is its own worst enemy.

Read the original document at CDT Chinese.

One City’s Actionable Recommendations for the Further Standardization of News Coverage

A message to all county- (municipal-) level Party district committee propaganda departments, high tech industrial development zone Party working committee propaganda departments and propaganda and cultural entities under direct municipal jurisdiction:

In order to further standardize the collection and editing of news, improve the quality of public opinion channeling, encourage the formation of healthy news procedure and promote the healthy and robust development of journalism in the city, we, in the spirit of the “Suggestions for the Further Standardization of the Collection and Editing of News” issued by the Central Propaganda Department, the Provincial Propaganda Department and other main departments and in accordance with related requirements and policy rules, and integrating experience from Jinan, submit the following concrete, actionable guidelines:

I. Persist in the Correct Direction, Ensure the Authenticity of the News

1) Adhere to Party principles. Work assiduously to raise the flag high, embrace the interests of the nation, serve the people and pursue the overall goals of reform and innovation. Firmly establish a Marxist view of the news. Maintain politicians as heads of newspapers, periodicals and stations. Consciously ensure that the collection and editing of news demonstrates the correct politics, correct policies, correct values and correct actions. From beginning to end, maintain a high level of consistency with the central Party. Absolutely do not provide a channel for incorrect thoughts or words.

2) Persist in encouraging unity and stability. Prioritize positive propaganda. Tightly adhere to the central work of Party committees and the government. Sing the main chorus. Win the battle of initiative. Scientifically plan and strive to propagate and strengthen reports on the main themes, main successes and main models. Consolidate and strengthen a positive, healthy and progressive mainstream public opinion.

3) Insist on the principle of the authenticity of the news. News coverage must uphold the principles of truth, accuracy, comprehensiveness, objectivity and impartiality. Conduct in-depth research, grasp social currents, fully understand the truth of the matter and consciously avoid false news. Elevate the authoritativeness and credibility of news coverage.

Insist on placing social benefit first. From beginning to end, maintain the solemn mission of the news media: serve the interests of the nation, lead society, educate the people and promote harmony. The media’s obligations are to propagate scientific theory, spread advanced culture, shape a positive mentality, advocate a scientific spirit and foster healthy social trends. Work more at unifying ideology and consolidating strength. Work harder to boost morale and to inspire. Purify print, airwaves and screens. Provide effective support for public opinion that furthers social harmony and stability.

II. Rectify Journalistic Concepts, Elevate Quality of Media

5) Maintain the principle that newspapers and broadcasting entities are founded upon the news. Current affairs publications, radio stations and television channels must focus on news coverage and ensure there is sufficient content to fill the pages and time slots. Properly control the total amount of repetitive, excessive and overabundant programs, including those about love, marriage and friendship; talent competitions; emotional stories; game shows; variety shows; talk shows and reality shows.

6) Unceasingly elevate the quality of programming. Make use of Jinan’s cultural advantages. Adapt to the multi-leveled, multi-faceted nature of the audience’s spiritual and cultural demands. Improve the layout of print media and the structure and types of programming. Each news media must develop at least one program that promotes traditional Chinese values and embodies the essential value system of socialism and ideological morality; current affairs print media, radio news stations and television news channels must offer programming based on Party building, people’s livelihood and social welfare. As a principle, reports which include images or video from the scenes of accidents, disasters, court cases and epidemics should not feature prominently on the page or serve as the leading stories of radio and TV news programs.

7) Build a service platform and strengthen public service. Earnestly practice the mass line of “everything for the masses, everything relies on the masses, everything in service of the masses.” Connect closely to reality on the ground. Take great interest in the productive lives of the masses. Heighten the focus and efficacy of news coverage. All news media must integrate their unique features into programming that serves the people. Open an information service hotline. Strengthen interaction with the masses. Print, radio and television media that focus on urban life are to develop their advantages and enhance reporting on life services, popular science and social good.

8) Enhance in-depth reporting. Consider the unique position of media in strengthening such in-depth reports as policy analysis, special investigation, discussion and commentary. Fulfill the important work of educating, enlightening and leading social ideology.

III. Standardize Research and Editorial Practices, Improve Style of Coverage

9) Members of the news media must strictly comply with Party discipline, national laws and professional ethics. Consciously comply with the Journalistic Code of Ethics of China. Consciously protect the interests of the Party and the nation. Protect the fundamental interests of the people. Protect the overall reform, development and stability of the country.

10) Insist on staying close to reality, the masses and everyday life. Change work style and improve writing style. News coverage and interviews are to be conducted on the spot. Information must be verified by multiple sources. Seek verification of the facts repeatedly and from multiple sides. Listen to and report on the perspectives of all persons involved and objectively reflect every fact and account of the story. Avoid adopting only one side of a story or one piece of evidence. Avoid the use of unsubstantiated information and subjective speculation when composing news reports. Avoid purposefully bending the facts and fabricating news to sensationalize, boost sales or attract listeners and viewers. Avoid inaccurate reporting in the single-minded rush to get a scoop. Listen to the suggestions of relevant authorities and departments when preparing policy-heavy and sensitive news.

11) News personnel must conduct news coverage through legal channels and legitimate methods. Reporter’s permits issued by the State Administration of Press and Publication are the only legal permits. This permit must be presented to a subject before an interview begins. Persons without a reporter’s permit are forbidden from conducting interviews on their own. Interviewees are to be respected and their privacy to be protected. Respect the way of life, customs and religious beliefs of interviewees. Potential interviewees cannot be forced to accept interviews. In negative reporting that involves minors, comply with the national laws and regulations that protect minors and uphold the rights and interests of minors. In general, it is unlawful to reveal a minor’s name, place of residence, appearance or other information or audiovisual materials that would allow others to discern his or her identity without the approval of his or her legal guardian.

12) For coverage of important meetings, major activities and big events, news personnel must obey on-site management. Coverage must be conducted in accordance with the arrangements of the event organizers. Make sure that news coverage does not interfere with the mediation of civil or economic disputes. Do not interfere with normal legal proceedings.

13) Refuse to practice any type of paid news. News personnel are forbidden from using their work to seek illegitimate profit. It is forbidden to accept banquet invitations or gifts that might affect the objectivity of their reporting. It is forbidden to attempt to extract money, property or other profit from persons involved with a report or other interested parties. It is forbidden to engage in activities related to the profession which introduce compensation, engage in business dealings or be gainfully employed by unaffiliated news entities or economic organizations.

14) Implement the news coverage recusal policy. News personnel should abstain from reporting on any situation in which friends, relatives or other interested parties may affect the objectivity of the reporting. In such cases, it is forbidden to interfere with or exert influence on information gathering, editing, publication or broadcast.

IV. Respond to Social Concerns, Strengthen Public Opinion Guidance

15) Scientifically execute the guidance of hot-button issues. Focus on unifying thought, rallying public support, resolving uncertainty, encouraging healthy trends and serving society as a whole. Excel at grasping hot topics. Do not fall silent at critical moments. Fully exercise your right to take initiative in guiding public opinion. Resolutely guard against fabricated and sensationalized issues. Avoid catering to lowbrow tastes. Sensitive issues which affect the mental stability of the people, such as ethnicity, religion, mass incidents, food safety, etc., are to be handled with caution and securely controlled. Under most circumstances, issues related to high-level work units and institutions or alternative opinions on important political or economic issues are not to be publicized if doing so would have a negative impact. You may report this information through internal reference. When in doubt, promptly consult relevant authorities for instruction.

16) Strengthen and improve supervision of public opinion. Maintain scientific, accurate, legal, constructive and authoritative supervision. Pay close attention to the social results of this supervision. Center work on the important endeavors of Party committees and the government. Select issues for supervision that are important to the Party committees and the government, on which the masses hold strong opinions and which can be resolved at the present stage. Establish positive interaction between media supervision of public opinion and the work of the Party committees and government.

Party newspapers, radio and television stations are to fully realize their function as the main front in the effort to supervise public opinion, actively carrying out constructive supervision. In developing public opinion supervision, metropolitan media and news websites must standardize the process of presenting topics to higher authorities for approval, covering stories and reviewing reports, avoiding subjective, inaccurate and sensationalized reporting. As a principle, local and metropolitan media should not go beyond their region of coverage to report on public opinion. Maintain a firm grip on the volume and strength of critical reporting. In a given time period, it is inappropriate to report extensively on one location, industry or work unit; do not report issues that cannot currently be resolved or on isolated or exceptional incidents that have already been legally managed and properly resolved.

In general, public criticism and reporting is not to be carried out concerning issues such as rural land requisition, the demolition of urban homes, persons displaced by the construction of reservoirs, restructuring of personnel at state-owned enterprises, military cadres losing their cadre status and benefits after transfer to civilian work, the college entrance examinations and any major mass incidents and sensitive cases; openly critical reporting is generally not to be conducted when concerning the military, armed police, ethnicity and religion and the Tibet and Xinjiang issues. Critical reporting for the purposes of personal gain, extortion or retaliation, attacking the Party and government in the name of public opinion and seeking to discredit the current political system must be resolutely stopped and severely investigated and prosecuted.

17) Reliably master coverage of sudden incidents. In reporting on sudden incidents, Party Committee Propaganda Departments of all levels must strictly implement the fundamental principle of “timely and accurate, open and transparent, orderly and unrestricted, effectively managed and correct in guidance.” Cooperate with related departments to guide public opinion on sudden incidents.

Adhere to the principle of dealing openly and transparently with incidents. Coordinate with the departments managing the incident and issue timely, authoritative information to the media. Limit the the space for the spread of rumors and hearsay as much as possible. Adhere to the “first moment” principle and seize the opportunity to be the first to lead public opinion.

Improve the means by which information is issued. Speak early of the facts, emphatically of attitude and carefully of causation. Firmly establish a philosophy of treating well, using well and managing well the media. Positively support the work of the media and cooperate with the media in their research and reporting. Those media organizations which cover sudden incidents must consciously comply with the unified leadership of the Party committees and government, obey the specific directions of the departments managing the incident and serve those managing the incident at the scene.

Maintain focus on positive propaganda. Issue authoritative information, guide public opinion, channel emotions and stabilize society in a timely and accurate manner. Provide a good environment for the incident to be properly resolved. The amount and scope of coverage of sudden incidents should be appropriately controlled. Avoid losing focus when reporting on disasters, accidents and criminal cases. Incidents with a small range of influence or without serious consequence need not be publicly reported. It is also permissible to only report such incidents locally. Incidents which attract international attention but which do not need to be reported domestically may be just reported to foreign audiences. Avoid revealing and exaggerating the details of a case, the methods by which a crime was committed, gruesome scenes, injury, death, tragedy, etc. Avoid causing negative effects.

V. Perfect the System of Review, Strictly Control Content

18) Establish a system for the supervision and implementation of work. Each news organization must establish a system in which personnel are assigned responsibility for sending and receiving messages and taking note of the files, notices and requests sent from controlling bodies while also ensuring that said messages are relayed to all related news personnel in a timely manner. All requests are to be collected into a handbook and integrated into daily work practices, including editing, proofreading, typesetting, printing and broadcasting.

19) Establish a system for recording the examinations and verification of important programming and features. Before starting a new feature on important news, all current affairs publications, news radio stations and news TV channels must submit the name, genre, orientation, content, format, placement (time slot), length, objective and other aspects of the proposed program to the municipal propaganda department for their records.

20) Perfect the editorial system. Reinforce the responsibility of editors. Carry out exhaustive verification and confirmation of the contents of all contributions. Information provided by informants, hotlines, special reporters, non-governmental organizations and business organs may only be used as leads and must be investigated and verified by journalists before it may be reported.

The editorial process must not damage the authenticity of the report. Do not use exaggerations in the title which distort the message of the report and mislead the audience. Reports that touch upon the activities of Party and national leaders, important meetings, major policies, sensitive issues and other important news must be strictly controlled. It is forbidden to publish articles submitted independently by the public at large.

Press releases and internal materials provided by Party, government and military organs, the judiciary or employees of state-owned enterprises and institutions must be verified and approved by relevant institutions before use. Sources must be clearly cited regardless of whether the contents in questions is produced in-house or reprinted from elsewhere. Except when necessary to protect national security, protect state secrets and under other special circumstances, new reports must clearly state the names, titles and employers of the reporter and interviewees. Do not cite vague sources such as “an authoritative figure” or “a person involved in the incident.”

Writers and editors of opinion pieces must respect the facts and must not carry out irrational rants, sow social discord or exacerbate social discontent. Do not present information as source material that has yet to be verified. Do not employ biased opinions or unusual perspectives to create a sensation. Editorials and commentary in any medium must not use ghostwritten material or make direct use of submissions from society at large. Media organizations of all types are forbidden from publishing unauthorized news information products from foreign news media (including foreign websites) without prior approval.

21) Implement a gatekeeping system for the examination and review articles. All levels of the news media must perfect the workflow by which news is collected, edited, published and broadcast. Standardize the work of the three levels of script review: initial editing, review by the department head and final review by the editor-in-chief. Strictly control the channels through which articles are published and content is reviewed. Strengthen the sense of responsibility in final judgment. Clearly define the responsibilities of the person who is in this position.

22) Tighten the technical control systems used in the production and broadcast of talk shows and live programming for radio and television. Formulate extensive scripts, outlines, background materials, broadcasting plans and emergency contingency plans in advance. Conduct sufficient research into the social background, political views and related information concerning special guests. Guide the civilized participation and rational discourse of special guests. Ensure that live studio broadcasts and participation through hotlines remains manageable and controllable by utilizing broadcast delaying equipment and reserving safety telephone lines.

23) Establish a system of correction and accountability for false and inaccurate reporting. If after investigation and verification one firmly believes that false or inaccurate information exists in a report, timely corrections must be made to the appropriate edition, time slot or website in order to avoid impact. In cases where a reporter fails to cover a story in depth or an editor’s carelessness allows inaccurate information to be reported, the news organization must openly apologize and investigate the person(s) responsible for the mistake.

VI. Strictly Audit Information, Promote Positive Interaction on Newspaper (Station) Websites

24) Standardize the use of information from the Internet. All news media must strictly comply with relevant regulations. Do not directly copy and reuse information from the Internet. Avoid propagating and amplifying irrational emotions and false information from the Internet. Put an end to any “going with the Web” or “following the crowd” phenomena. When using information from the Internet as a news source (including text, images, audio and video), its source must be checked and verified, its accuracy confirmed and the author’s rights under law and regulation respected. The use of unverified information from microblog posts or the use of such posts as leads is strictly prohibited. The use of lowbrow, vulgar information from the Internet is strictly prohibited. Information from the Internet that relates to major policies of the Party and the nation and material regarding ethnicity, religion, the military and diplomacy must be reviewed by authoritative channels and receive approval from the controlling body before it may be reported.

25) Standardize the management of media microblogs. Encourage mainstream media to open microblog accounts. Occupy a position in public opinion on microblogs. Increase the influence of mainstream media on microblogs. Media microblogs must establish strict auditing and posting protocol in accordance with their professional standards. Media of all levels and varieties must formulate and perfect their own internal managerial rules and increase management of employee microblog use. A member of the news media who wishes to open microblog accounts under his or her professional title must do so with the approval of his or her work unit. Microblog posts published on such an account must not break the law, breach news propaganda discipline or violate the managerial rules of the media organization employing the account holder. Media professionals who open personal microblog accounts, blogs, podcasts, etc. are forbidden from issuing news not yet published or broadcast by his/her media organization without prior approval, and are also forbidden from disseminating of any kind of information gained through professional activities.

26) Standardize traditional media contents online. Encourage traditional media to strengthen positive propaganda on the Internet. Strengthen the interactivity of newspaper, radio and television websites. Expand the reach and influence of mainstream public opinion. Articles uploaded to the Internet must maintain complete accuracy. Do not take things out of context or edit titles. Do not amplify one-sided facts. Critical reports uploaded online must be securely controlled. Reports that involve sensitive information or situations, including articles that could easily incite disputes or produce negative effects, must be strictly controlled. As a principle, these articles should not be put online.

27) Standardize cooperation among media organizations. No level or type of media must violate the rules of the organization by participating in any type of “contribution website,” “media coalition” or “article swapping platform” without prior approval. Resolutely put a stop to news article sharing activity.

VII. Strengthen Management of Advertising, End Dissemination of Negative Information

28) Hold fast to the proper orientation of advertisement and propaganda. The contents of advertisements published by news media must be truthful and lawful. Advertising must not deceive or mislead consumers. Resolutely put an end to the publication of advertisements which agitate the public, harm the physical and mental health of minors, go against social values and social norms and otherwise violate laws and regulations, as well as other types of advertisement banned by law. Consciously work to protect the reputation and image of news agencies.

29) Maintain the separation between reporting and business activities. News media must strictly implement the “two apart” rule. News and advertising departments must be kept separate. The roles of editors, reporters, anchors and advertising personnel must not overlap. It is forbidden to task journalists and editors with bringing in advertising revenue. News department personnel, including journalists, editors, reviewers, producers, anchors, announcers, etc., are forbidden from using their positions to seek advertising revenue. Do not broadcast advertisements under the guise of news coverage. Likewise, advertising department personnel are forbidden from participating in or influencing the work of news personnel through disguised advertisements or paid news reports.

30) Exercise strict editorial control over advertising. Strictly enact the three-tiered advertisement review system: initial review by auditors, secondary review by the responsible parties of the advertising department and final review by the responsible parties of the news work unit. Ensure your right to exercise the final decision on advertisements. Avoid the covert or mercenary sale of print space and airtime. Avoid the publication and broadcast of false and harmful advertising.

31) Increase public interest advertisement and propaganda. Conduct serious research into the accepted behaviors and psychological characteristics of the audience. Use formats the masses like to see and hear. Create new vehicles for propagandizing. Design, produce and put forth innovative, unique advertising products for the public good that have clear themes and profound moral messages. Propagate advanced culture. Lead the audience toward a healthy lifestyle. All news media organizations must follow relevant rules and requirements. Public interest advertising must comprise at least 3% of paid advertising in terms of ad space or time every year.

VIII. Strengthen Team Structure, Enhance Organizational Quality

32) Actively promote the formation of talented news teams. Vigorously implement key talent programs in the propaganda and culture apparatus. Make an effort to cultivate star reporters, editors and anchors. Create well-known media organizations, columns and programs. Improve and perfect incentives. Continue to organize awards programs such as “Top Ten Newspaper Columns,” “Top Ten Television Segments,” “Top Ten Books” and “Top Ten Journalists.” Promote the healthy and prosperous development of journalism.

33) Strengthen the political training of journalism professionals.  It is essential to work in tandem with the “Three Everythings” mass line educational program currently being carried out by the provincial propaganda and culture apparatus. Unceasingly extend the reach of the “Three Studies Education” news battle line and the “Go Grassroots, Evolve Working Style, Change Writing Style” activities. News work units must organize at least one centralized educational training meeting per season to comprehensively and systemically carry out Party education; education on the state of the nation, province and city; the Marxist perspective on news; and professional consciousness and ethics, in order to strengthen the ability of reporters and editors to adapt to the requirements of their posts. Journalists and editors must participate in qualification training organized by provincial- and municipal-level news publication departments. Only media personnel who have successfully obtain a training certificate through participation in journalism employment qualification training programs sponsored by provincial and municipal news publishing departments may apply for a reporter’s permit.

34) Complete and perfect a scientific, comprehensive evaluation system. News organizations must straighten out the relationship between use [of employees] and cultivation [of their talents]. Firmly promote the long-term development of a people-oriented philosophy. Do not simply use ratings or production output to evaluate the work of an organization. Encourage journalists to delve into society’s base, the masses and their lives. Produce and broadcast works of outstanding quality that meet the demands of the “Three Closes.” Integrate requirements into all stages of news collection and reporting. Develop feasible long-term employee training programs. Enhance the sense of pride, responsibility and mission of news personnel. Enhance the sense of belonging and solidarity in all news work units.

35) Improve the mechanism by which news personnel are hired and discharged. News organizations must strive to hire, utilize and assess good personnel. Journalists and editors must retain proper press and publication qualifications. Establish and improve personnel information filing systems. Gradually establish a citywide, open database that records the instances in which news personnel show harmful professional behavior. When it is necessary to dismiss an employee because of a violation of news media discipline, the specific circumstances of the individual case will be used to determine how long that person is suspended or whether he or she is permanently banned from the profession.

IX. Improve the Management Apparatus, Protect Journalistic Procedure

36) Put into practice the regulatory duties of work unit supervisors. The municipal propaganda department and supervisors must strengthen their leadership of the news organizations under their charge. They control and are responsible for the organization’s direction. Media organizations under group management must strengthen their supervision over print publications, stations and websites. Strictly implement supervisory regulations. Improve day-to-day reviewing practices. Fully utilize the ability of the reviewing process to promote and ensure the correct direction of news reporting. Developing or trending problems found during the review process should be corrected in a timely manner.

37) Strengthen the construction of news work unit leadership teams. Leadership teams must be formed by current personnel who are politically resolute, have moral integrity, possess higher levels of Marxist self-cultivation and political standards and are familiar with the news publishing industry. A publication’s legal representative or leader must participate in job training organized by relevant departments. Leaders must possess the proper certification for their posts. Management must submit notice of new appointments or changes to news work unit leadership to the municipal propaganda department before such changes proceed.

38) Improve the apparatus of social supervision. Encourage every different part of society to strengthen their supervision of the media’s conduct in gathering and producing the news. Party propaganda departments and journalism associations at all levels must open reporting channels which will receive, investigate and verify reported information in a timely manner. Give feedback and publicize the results of investigations, including any punishment. Media work units must operate open-door newspapers and stations by hiring industry style advisory boards and content review personnel. Listen carefully to the opinions and suggestions of the masses. Work hard to improve individual work.

39) Strengthen professional ethics. Establish a journalistic ethics committee within the municipal journalists association. Organize the relevant municipal departments, news media, institutions of higher learning and representatives from all areas of society to discuss and produce analysis of news reporting, team building and model cases on a regular basis and notify those within the profession. Root out problems by summarizing collective experience. Promote self-regulation in the industry. Form a mechanism for the long-term supervision of journalistic ethics.

40) Perfect the media employee accountability and discharge system. Strictly enforce the discipline and warning system. In all instances where a media organization is issued a warning notice or violation and disciplinary action notice by management, that organization will be disqualified from participating in the selection of any level or type of propaganda work advanced group that year; responsible editors and reporters will be disqualified from participation in the selection of advanced individuals and outstanding works at any level or role in news and propaganda, as well promotion to the higher journalistic title he or she would otherwise be eligible in that year. In the case of serious violations or when the attitudes of disciplined parties have not changed after undergoing reorganization and reform, such parties will be withdrawn from the market through annual review and comprehensive quality assessments.

Chinese Communist Party XX City Propaganda Department, Chinese Communist Party XX City Foreign Propaganda Office

XX City Press and Publication Bureau of Culture, Radio and TV, XX City Journalists’ Association

March 16, 2012

Translation by Little Bluegill.


Notes:

At the 2010 Asia Media Summit, Communication University of China Vice President Hu Zhengrong declared, “we are facing a battle against fake news, paid news, and soft advertising in news.” The New York Times reported in April on Chinese media organizations accepting payment from businesses for positive coverage. Back.

A letter intended for the National People’s Congress and available online [zh] claims that 70,000 former military cadres in Jiangsu Province were illegally stripped of their cadre status and the government support to which it entitles them. Back.