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 four directives were released on February 27, 2020.
Coverage of press conferences of all kinds related to epidemic prevention and control must standardize sourcing and report accurately. Do not quote out of context or distort the meaning; do not engage in “clickbait.” Keep tabs on posts and comments. (February 27, 2020) [Chinese]
Please find and delete false content based on this sample, and do not republish. (February 27, 2020) [Chinese]
1. Regarding China’s provision of aid to relevant countries, take care not to give undue prominence to our material assistance, and do not report details.
2. Many media outlets have published and broadcast images of cured child patients bowing to medical workers with inconsistent explanatory information. Newsgathering and editing workflows must be strictly standardized, and the accuracy of reports’ content ensured. (February 27, 2020) [Chinese]
On the matter of the woman surnamed Huang from Wuhan, Hubei, do not take independent action, and report in strict accordance with regulations. (February 27, 2020) [Chinese]
Directives sent almost daily throughout the first two months of 2020 focused on restricting and controlling coverage of the novel coronavirus and of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter. A directive two days earlier ordered media “do not report, do not reprint, and do not comment” on mask donations to Hong Kong. Some general directives do not indicate the specific news or article they are targeting in the version seen by CDT.
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.