Censorship Vault: CCTV Anchor Wants Press Freedom
Zhejiang Propaganda Department: Do not report, comment on, or reprint the Beijing News story on Bai Yansong‘s views on legislation. The website of the Suzhou Review inappropriately published the commentary “A Bit of Support for Bai Yansong: Speed Up News Legislation,” which constitutes erroneous behavior. Let this be an example to other media. (March 6, 2013)
Star CCTV news anchor Bai Yansong is a delegate at the ongoing Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, held in tandem with the National People’s Congress (NPC). On the eve of the Congress, Bai said he would be advocating the passage of the News Law to protect press freedom. “The mission of this generation of journalists is to push for the gradual realization of press freedom in China,” Bai told the Southern Weekly, according to Radio Free Asia [zh]. “But the day true press freedom arrives will be the day I leave the profession.”
These instructions, issued to the media and Internet companies by various central and local government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. 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.