Crackdown on Olympics reporters?

That is AFP’s read on Chinese government plans, announced in the China Daily today, to manage foreign journalists who come to Beijing for the 2008 festivities. The plan, described by the head of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), aims to maintain a “clean journalism environment” by chasing down and expelling unlicensed journalists.

Reuters takes a less alarmist approach to the news, concentrating on GAPP’s announcement that it will share information about foreign journalists registered to cover the Olympics with interviewees.

Both articles quote China Daily’s paraphrasing of GAPP minister Liu Binjie, who insists the plan is part of an effort to solve China’s problem with bogus journalists: “Fake reporters, especially those representing overseas-registered media, harm society and deserve severe punishment.”

Interestingly, while the China Daily article mentions the recent shut down of the “fake”
Social News (社会新闻) newspaper, it doesn’t cite any cases of fake reporters working for overseas media.

The AFP article is here.


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