News / Asia

    China Bans Unauthorized Critical Journalism

    FILE - Plainclothes officer, right, prevents photographer from taking a photo of a Chinese police officer questioning two journalists, Beijing.
    FILE - Plainclothes officer, right, prevents photographer from taking a photo of a Chinese police officer questioning two journalists, Beijing.
    Reuters
    Reporters in China are forbidden from publishing critical reports without the approval of their employer, one of China's top media regulators said on Wednesday.

    The rule comes as the government intensifies a crackdown on freedom of expression, both online and in traditional media.

    The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television published the rule in a circular announcing a crackdown on false news and journalists who take bribes or extort money from their sources.

    News agencies must crackdown on corruption and journalists who break the law must be handed over to judicial authorities, the regulator said. Journalists who violate the rules will be stripped of their license to report.

    Journalists are also forbidden from setting up their own websites, video sites or writing internal reports with critical content, it added. The regulator did not specify what constituted critical content or what particular subjects journalists cannot criticize.

    The rules also forbid journalists from conducting interviews or writing reports outside their assigned fields of coverage.

    News agencies must regularly solicit opinions from "the masses," as well as propaganda authorities and other media regulators, including itself, it said.

    The notice listed several scandals in which Chinese newspaper reporters had reportedly accepted bribes for positive coverage, or forced people to pay them off to avoid a critical story, saying these incidents made the regulation necessary.

    Media that violated the rules could be stripped of their licenses, it added.

    China adopted tough measures to crack down on online rumors last year, but critics say the campaign is simply a means to target criticism of the ruling Communist Party that has chilled political discourse.

    China's news media is heavily censored and media organizations need to obtain licenses from the government before publishing.

    State media has been the key vehicle for party propaganda, but reforms over the past decade have allowed greater commercialization and some increase in editorial independence.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jonathan huang from: canada
    June 18, 2014 1:32 PM
    different cultures have different value systems. america considers the freedom of speech is a basic human right, fine keeps it in your country ok? other cultures have their right to choose different value system. in china, we educate ppl to watch their language before speaking. Think twice and again before speak a word! security of our nation is more important than individuals right to speak. rumors can severely endanger our harmony society, thus must be controlled!
    In Response

    by: jonathan huang from: canada
    June 19, 2014 11:17 AM
    @shinato, you are so ridiculous, I just explained why china controls speeches, and the important for all ppl to understand each others. and I dont have to stay in china to preach chinese culture, do I?canada is a multicultural nation, I enjoy my rights of preaching chinese culture here!
    @keith, west always bashes china which is worse than rumors! and China is still a developing country, China IS NOT strong yet and far from secure thanks to the hostility from america and japan! yes, we are scared of rumors, very scared! we dont want to be like Ukraine or Egypt or Iraq, manipulated by west and fell into chaos! we chinese want a strong and prosperous china, which is our dream! we are scared that the west would destroy our dream! we have to protect ourselves! the west controls the world propaganda machine, there is nothing china can do about it so far. so the only thing we can do is to control our own propaganda machine!
    In Response

    by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
    June 18, 2014 6:10 PM
    Why are you in Canada? You had better generate such an opinion from mainland China. Come back early there to enjoy your beloved different political system and culture.
    In Response

    by: keith from: chicago
    June 18, 2014 5:44 PM
    @jonathan

    "rumors" are not what foreign journalists in china are being prevented from reporting. They are being prevented from reporting facts about leaders, about violations by the government on preventing chinese citizens to exercise their lawful rights under chinese law to protest, about facts of international events that provide relevant information to readers that Xinhua and other state-controlled media omit or otherwise fail to report.
    if a country is strong and secure, it need not fear false rumors; it needs to fear a people long suppressed and controlled who learns all the facts.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora