A top Chinese media official says China is creating a database for potential interviewees that gives information about thousands of foreign reporters who will cover the Beijing Olympics next year.
A report in the state-run China Daily Monday quotes Liu Binjie, the minister of the General Administration of Press and Publication, as saying the list of foreign reporters is being made to help clamp down on "fake reporters" and unlicensed publications.
Liu told the paper that "fake reporters," especially those representing overseas media, harm society and deserve severe punishment.
Liu said the database would cover 8,000 foreign journalists accredited to report inside Olympic game venues and another 20,000 who are allowed to report outside venues.
The report said a nationwide campaign to crackdown on unaccredited reporters has already netted 150 individuals and 300 unregistered publications.
The campaign began in mid-August. Human rights and press freedom groups say China is using the crackdown to harass journalists and punish those who investigate government corruption.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.