CDT has recently acquired and verified a collection of propaganda directives issued by central Party authorities to state media at the beginning of this year. These directives were issued on an almost daily basis in early 2020, and we will be posting them over the coming weeks. The following directive was released on January 27, 2020.
Regarding reports on the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus, we must approach our work from the general theme of containing the epidemic, and strictly manage public opinion; strictly set the standard for the source of news, and strictly prohibit the use of non-standard, especially self-media, sources; without unified arrangements, it is strictly prohibited to quote unauthorized foreign media reports; when forwarding authoritative reports, you must not distort the original meaning of the news and engage in “clickbait.” Pop-ups are not allowed to push non-standard manuscript source information and information that may have a negative impact. Manage post comments. (January 27, 2020) [Chinese]
In late January, China was in the throes of the initial coronavirus outbreak, which first emerged in Wuhan in late December. From its first appearance, the government took steps to limit information, admonishing doctors and detaining citizen journalists and others who shared information about the new virus and its spread. On January 23, Wuhan and other nearby cities were placed on a strict lockdown just as the country was preparing for Lunar New Year. Numerous propaganda directives concerning coronavirus have been issued since January.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. 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. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.