The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
State Council Information Office: (1) CCTV Finance’s posts on smog may not be reposted to the Weibo accounts of media organizations and media personnel. (2) It is forbidden to hype the contents of the Beijing News article “Beijingers Don Breathing Masks in Smog for ‘Naked Pig Run.'” (February 23, 2014)
Amid another intense bout of smog, yesterday was the annual “Naked Pig Run” in the capital city, and some participants showed up wearing little more than their protective face masks.
央视财经 [CCTV Finance]: “Beijing Municipal Government, Don’t Hide Behind the Thick Smog!” Several days of silence have indicated a problem more serious than smoggy weather: the people have grown numb and society no longer pays attention to such a familiar sight. CCTV Finance is issuing a wakeup call: the government can’t act blind, it must bear the burden of responsibility, protect its territory, and not act ignorant! So, we loudly ask one question: is there anyone here who still cares about the smog?
央视财经 [CCTV Finance]: “Does Anyone Still Care About Beijing’s Smog?” Beijing, Beijing, the pollution index is off the charts. PM2.5 concentration has surpassed 541 micrograms/square meter throughout the city. Today we continuously waited for the municipal government to launch into heavy pollution emergency response. But, as evening fell, automobile limitations still hadn’t started, factories still hadn’t given news of halting production, and buses were still darting back and forth. How severe the must the pollution get before the emergency response goes into effect? We don’t understand.
As heavy smog season was kicking off last October, Beijing drafted an air pollution emergency response plan that included a four-tiered, color-coded alert system. After days of heavy pollution and CCTV Finance’s now-deleted weibo, Beijing issued an “orange” alert—the second highest in the system—for the first time last Friday. As of yesterday evening, Beijing remained under orange alert.
For more on Beijing’s notorious smog, including netizen ridicule of a PLA researcher’s claim that it acts as a protective forcefield against American laser weaponry, see prior CDT coverage.