The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Central Propaganda Department: Regarding the incident of dead pigs floating in the Huangpu River, the media are to cover the story concisely according to authoritative information. Do not sensationalize it. There are voices online seeking to draw this incident into the issue of genetically modified food. Do not report or comment on these voices. (March 12, 2013)
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these 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.
Hubei Propaganda Department: Yesterday the Changjiang Times website republished a report from the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo which stated that “the 3 Fat Kims have established secret [bank] accounts in China.” Some media, such as the Masses Daily, even issued comments on this report. High-level departments are investigating this incident and are in the process of dealing with those responsible. All media, including traditional media and websites, must strictly abide by the rules for reports involving foreign affairs, as well as the warnings already issued. (March 12, 2013)
Central Propaganda Department: Some media have reported that an impoverished child in Xiajiang County, Jiangxi Province was to receive 1,600 yuan in donations, but that in four years he only received 40 yuan. This is inconsistent with the facts. The media are to stop reporting on this incident. (March 12, 2013)
Central Propaganda Department: With regards to the Huangpu River dead pigs incident, the media are to cease sensationalizing the story. The Dongfang Daily and Dragon TV both played it up quite a bit. They have been seriously reprimanded. (March 13, 2013)
Central Propaganda Department: Information from previous meetings was leaked. An investigation has shown that there are some media transmitting this information to editors and reporter, who then pass it on [to the public]. Some have even given information to foreign media. Once again, the media are to stress secrecy. Information from this meeting is to be supplied only to major responsible comrades, and cannot be put on the outside Internet [beyond the “Chinternet“]. (March 14, 2013)
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 on CDT Chinese 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.