China tightens noose on press

April 17th, 2009 - 1:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, Apr. 17 (ANI): In an attempt to tighten the noose on the Chinese media, the nation’s media watchdog has issued a circular sermonizing the responsibilities and credibility of the press.

The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) has urged newspapers and organizations to verify the facts to ensure truthfulness and objectivity in their news coverage.

To facilitate it, the organizations must be strict in hiring reporters and editors. Those with a track record of fabricating news stories or seeking profit by abusing their jobs should not be employed, the circular read.

The circular also required press administrators to strengthen supervision over media organizations and news production, and punish violators with warnings, fines or suspension of businesses.

The GAPP also told the media organizations to offer employees regular training on laws, regulations and professional ethics.

Reporters should carefully verify news sources, conduct in-person interviews, and never distort facts or fabricate stories based on hearsay or imagination, the circular said.

“Editors-in-chief of newspapers carrying false reports should openly apologize to the public or even resign in accordance with the degree of damage done. The journalists concerned should also be held accountable,” Xinhua quoted the circular , as saying.

The administration had earlier named and shamed six newspapers for carrying false reports.

According to GAPP, the mass-circular Beijing Times reported last year that the China Merchants Bank (CMB) lost a book value at more than 10 billion Hong Kong dollars from Hong Kong’s Wing Lung Bank.

The report based on incorrect data collected by reporters led to the tumbling of CMB’s stock price and the fall of the entire banking stocks on that day. (ANI)

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