Ministry of Truth: “Heartfelt Sorrow,” Mandated
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Sichuan Propaganda Department: The media are not to independently report that the provincial Party committee quickly promoted Ya’an City officials to upper ranks in order to strengthen leadership of earthquake prevention and relief. (April 22, 2013)
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
Beijing Internet Management Office: No website may put the story “Red Cross Plans to Reinvestigate Guo Meimei” on their homepages or [lists of] topics. Play it down and do not speculate on the issue. (April 26, 2013)
Sichuan Internet Propaganda Office: Regarding the Guo Meimei incident, all websites are asked to strengthen inspection and to promptly delete contents which maliciously speculate on the issue or which attack the Red Cross. (April 26, 2013)
Sichuan Propaganda Department “April 20” Lushan Earthquake Emergency News Center: The provincial Party committee and the provincial government have decided that April 27, 2013 will be a “province-wide day of mourning,” where memorial activities will be held throughout Sichuan. In order to convey the heartfelt grief of every person of the province, of every ethnicity, for their lost compatriots, we hereby notify you of the following propaganda and news reporting tasks:
1. Carry proclamations from the provincial people’s government. All newspapers are to publish the provincial people’s government’s proclamation of province-wide mourning on their full front pages. Websites must place the contents of the proclamation prominently on their homepages and include summaries on the mobile versions of their homepages, in order to practically achieve universal knowledge of the activities.
2. Diligently report on memorial services. Media at the provincial level and below must promptly and thoroughly cover the “Sichuan Heartfelt Memorial Service for Compatriots Lost in the 7.0 Magnitude April 20 Earthquake in Lushan,” held in Lushan County by the provincial Party committee and the provincial government, and must prominently report the people’s mourning activities in the disaster zone; completely reflect the mourning activities of ministries at the provincial level and below and of all locales. All media are to publish or broadcast this slogan: “We mourn our lost compatriots with all our hearts. We must ceaselessly strive to rebuild our happy home!” Actively promote these slogans: “May the dead rest in peace, and the living stay strong!”; “Natural disasters are ruthless, but the human world has love. Rebuild our home through self-reliance!”
3. Build an atmosphere suitable to mourning. On April 27, newspapers will not publish commercial advertisements (excepting those concerning disaster relief and the public good). Websites will use gray and black color schemes and will organize netizens to participate in mourning activities, reflecting the sorrow of the vast majority of netizens. (April 26, 2013)
2. 认真做好哀悼仪式报道。省直媒体及时、充分报道省委、省政府在芦山县举行的“四川省深切哀悼4.20芦山7.0级强烈地震遇难同胞仪式”，突出报道灾区人 民哀悼活动；全面反应省直部门和全省各地举行的哀悼活动。所有媒体刊播通栏标语：“深切哀悼遇难同胞、自强不息重建美好家园！”。积极刊播“逝者安息，生 者坚强！”，“天灾无情，人间有爱，自力更生重建家园！”标语。
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 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.