The Chinese blog Ministry of Truth has compiled a number of recent orders issued by various propaganda departments over news reporting of recent events. Translated by CDT:
May 12, 2010
Regarding the incident of the stabbing in a kindergarten in Zheng County, Shaanxi Province, only publish the general draft from Xinhua, do not use information from other sources; do not place it in a prominent position; do not exhibit it for a long time; close the news commentary function. All local agencies, please strengthen the monitoring and management to ensure the implementation of relevant requirements. Do not place in an important position; do not allow interactivity (comments).
Regarding the incident of children being killed in Nanzheng kindergarten, no TV stations, newspapers or radio stations can send their reporters to interview, and all reporters who have been sent must return, and relevant reports must be deleted to follow Xinhua’s reporting. (SCIO)
News on the killing of Shaanxi children incident must only publish drafts from the Party media, no discussion in interactive sessions.
May 11, 2010
News about Internet in Xinjiang must all use draft of media in Xinjiang, do not promote, do not hype, do not follow “hot issues”.
In China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the Central Propaganda Department, which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (SCIO), which has established “Internet Affairs Bureau” to oversee all Websites that publish news, including the official sites of news organizations as well as independent sites that post news content.
This “Internet Affairs Bureau,” sent out very specific instructions to all large news websites daily, and often multiple times per day. Those instructions do not always mean that related contents are completely banned online, but they instruct websites to highlight or suppress certain type of opinions or information in a very detailed manner.
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions, as well as other type of censorship orders to media and websites, as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” The Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue, in Newspeak) is one of the four ministries that govern Oceania in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the Chinese blogosphere, it is the online lingo for the Central Propaganda Department and generally speaking, all other subordinate propaganda agencies including Internet supervision departments.
Today, it’s been said that news does not break, it tweets. For the officials in the the Ministry of Truth, the news is that their supposedly confidential instructions get tweeted as well.