29 March 1987
The “CCP Central Committee Notice concerning Some Questions in Opposing Bourgeois Liberalization at Present”, already has made a clear general deployment of this struggle. In order to implement the tasks in it concerning rectification of the ideological and political orientation of the news and public opinion battlefield, hereby, the following is further notified:
I, In order to rectify the ideological and political orientation of the news and public opinion battlefields, it is first and foremost necessary to rectify newspaper, periodical and other publishing work units well. This is an important aspect of opposing bourgeois liberalization, and is a necessary condition to guarantee the smooth development of this struggle.
Since a number of years, newspaper and periodical publishing developed very quickly, they have had a vigorous function in reform, development and constructing the two civilization, the work has had results. Now, there are more than 1700 newspapers registered nationwide, more than 5000 periodicals, and there are also not a few self-edited and printed illegal small newspapers and small periodicals. Generally speaking, apart from scientific, specialist, technological and educational periodicals, the number of political, literary and artistic periodicals is on the high side, and quality is not high. The prominent problem is that some newspapers and periodicals have not completely and correctly propagated and implemented the line of the Party since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress. An extremely small number of newspapers and periodicals have within some time, continued to publish mistaken discourse denying Socialism, opposing the leadership of the Party and advocating capitalism, which has had a vile effect in the overflow of the bourgeois liberalization wave of thinking.
This sort of situation is mainly the result of the Central leadership and that in many localities have shown themselves as weak and perfunctory in struggle concerning bourgeois liberalization. At the same time, it also reflects that some newspaper and periodical teams’ political and professional qualities cannot adapt to the requirements of new circumstances and new tasks. This line of teams generally speaking is a line of good teams, but among a part of the people, ideological confusion exists in fact. Many among those lack a mastery of the basic theories of Marxism; a small number of people have been relatively deeply influenced by bourgeois liberalization thinking trends; and there are also a few people who have continued to persist in and have used the public opinion battlefield to vigorously disseminate bourgeois liberalization viewpoints, gravely violating Party discipline. This has created the grave consequence that bourgeois liberalization thinking trends have spread unchecked across some public opinion battlefields.
All levels’ Party Committees must fully understand the necessity of rectifying newspaper and periodical, and sufficiently gauge the complexity and arduousness of this work. Although newspapers and periodicals systematically propagating bourgeois liberalization are not many in number, the influence they create among intellectual circles, university students and in society is not small. A considerable batch of newspapers and periodicals must further rectify their ideological and political orientation. Because of this, all levels’ Party Committees and all ministry and commission Party groups shall, according to the Central requirements on closely grasping the public opinion battlefield in the hands of the Party and related principles and policies, make rectifying the newspapers and periodicals directly led by the Party and the people well into both an urgent task in opposing bourgeois liberalization and into an ideological construction work having a long-term significance, give it high regard and realistically grasp it.
II, The focus of rectifying the newspapers and periodicals in the abovementioned scope is resolving the problem of basic political principles and political orientation, the stress is on rectifying newspapers and periodicals with prominent mistakes and grave consequences in propagating bourgeois liberalization viewpoints; and at the same time, continuously investigating and prosecuting newspapers and periodicals who gravely violate regulations of the Party Centre and the State on running newspapers and running periodicals.
Newspapers and periodicals having the following circumstances shall be subject to focus rectification:
(1) newspapers and periodicals who have for a long time in succession expressed discourse opposing the Four Cardinal Principles and propagating bourgeois liberalization, with grave mistakes and a vile influence;
(2) newspapers and periodicals with an improper ideological or political orientation, who deviate from the Four Cardinal Principles, propagate and support bourgeois liberalization viewpoints, propagate extreme individualism, ethnic nihilism, anti-patriotism, who hamper the unity of the nation, violate foreign affairs discipline and who have an important position and a relatively broad influence;
(3) digest newspapers and periodicals that hanker after extracting bourgeois liberalization viewpoints and other mistaken discourse, concentrate and disseminate is;
(4) newspapers and periodicals that gravely violate Centre and State Council controlling department regulations concerning running newspapers and running periodicals, that do not have conditions to run periodicals or basically deviate from the original purpose of running periodicals;
(5) newspapers and periodicals propagating sexual liberation, sexual life and sexual psychology, with a vulgar style, filthy content, that have grave mistakes in social ethics, with a bad social effect;
(6) obscene, sexual or violent newspapers and periodicals that should be banned and all sorts of self-edited and printed illegal newspapers and periodicals that are openly sold or sold in secret.
All localities and all departments shall, according to the abovementioned scope, realistically grasp this newspaper and periodical rectification work. In terms of phases, the rectification of newspapers and periodicals that are subordinate to central ministries and commissions, and provinces , autonomous regions, municipalities and large cities, that are related to the above-mentioned scope, shall be grasped. Locally-subordinate newspapers and periodicals or other newspapers and periodicals that tend towards the vile consistently, where problems have already been fully revealed, shall also be immediately rectified.
III, Against focus rectification newspapers and periodicals, organizational rectification measures must be effectively and realistically adopted in a led and differentiated manner on he basis of the nature and extent of mistakes, in consideration of the different histories, position and influences, as well as the situation of leading ranks and editorial teams, at the same time as earnestly grasping ideological rectification.
Newspapers and periodicals that have in reality become a battlefield propagating bourgeois liberalization and that have no need to continue to exist, shall cease to operate. Newspapers with relatively grave mistakes, that have created a vile influence among the masses, shall generally first be stopped for rectification, and it is to be decided in consideration of the rectification situation whether or not publication will continue. In those with an improper political orientation, that have expressed not a little mistaken discourse, but that should not be ceased for rectification, the leadership ranks shall be firmly rectified and the leading cadres substantiated, with publishing on the one hand and rectification on the other. Those that basically deviate from the original purpose of running a periodical, that don’t have the conditions to run a periodical, with a very bad social effect, a decision must be made to cease them or merge a batch.
The key to rectify newspapers and periodicals directly led by the Party and government, is constructing a strong and powerful leadership rank. All levels’ Party committees must take strict responsibility for assessing the main leading cadres for their subordinate newspapers and periodicals, and realistically strengthening the allocation of general editors, main editors and mid-level professional backbones. It is necessary to foster and select competent leading backbones and comprehensive editorial personnel to work in newspapers and periodicals, and at the same time pay attention to discovering and promoting comrades with good ideological, political and professional qualities into suitable positions. It is necessary to adopt all sorts of effective methods, organize study by editors and journalists of newspapers and periodicals, train them in batches, send them down on the job, and train them in reality, in order to raise their political level and professional ability. The small number of cadres who have persisted in bourgeois liberalization viewpoints for a long time, who do not respect political discipline, and who cannot be reformed through education, must be firmly dismissed. Appropriate arrangements must be made for the editorial personnel of newspapers and periodicals that stop operating and other work personnel.
Provincial city Committees, district city committees and Party Committees or Party Organizations in government departments running newspapers or running periodicals, must bear complete political responsibility for the newspapers and periodicals they run, regularly discuss the large matters of newspaper and periodical propaganda, and realistically strengthen ideological leadership and organizational leadership. Where grave issues of orientation occur in newspapers and periodicals, the responsibility of the higher-level Party Committee and controlling department shall be investigated at the same time. Leading cadres and old comrades who have been withdrawn to secondary positions, apart from special requirements, where the agreement of the relevant leading department is to be obtained, may not assume nominal duties in newspapers or periodicals, and may also not instruct the controlling departments under their individual names to run new newspapers and periodicals.
During rectification, all levels’ Party Committees must grasp both ends, and carry along the middle. Against newspapers and periodicals with grave problems, forces must be concentrated to rectify them firmly; of newspapers and periodicals that are run well and excellent editors and journalists, the achievements must be confirmed, they must be summarized and honoured, exalting vigorous factors. Concerning the considerable batch of newspapers and periodicals that, although they have not made major mistakes, are bad quality, they shall be helped to rectify their ideas on running periodicals, substantiate their editorial forces, earnestly raise propaganda and artistry, and strengthen propaganda effects.
IV, Newspapers and periodicals directly led by the Party and the government shall conduct a one-time education for their work personnel for them to completely and correctly understand the line since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress and further rectify their ideological and political orientation.
It is necessary to organize newsgathering personnel to deeply study the relevant documents issued by the Centre this year, study “Persisting in the Four Cardinal Principles, Opposing Bourgeois Liberalization” and “Constructing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” (revised and enlarged version) and other important treatises, combine this with rethinking the tortuous process of opposing bourgeois liberalization in the past years, and unify thoughts around all policymaking that the Party Centre has recently conducted, unify them around the line of persisting in the Four Cardinal Principles and persisting in reform, opening up and enlivening the economy as determined by the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress. On this basis, all work units must link up the reality of newspaper and periodical propaganda of the previous period, and review political principle issues emerging in page layouts in a focused manner. Discourse and reports that truly contains grave mistakes, shall be analysed and discussed by seeking truth from facts, fixing eyes upon clearly distinguishing right and wrong, raising understanding, uniting and educating the absolute majority of the people; do not let everyone pass tests, the focus should not be on investigating individual responsibilities. Against bourgeois liberalization viewpoints having influence in society, persuasive articles should be vigorously organized and compiles, and criticism without naming names conducted; against discourse in newspapers and periodicals that has created a vile influence among the masses, a responsible attitude shall also be adopted, and suitable methods used to clear up the matter, including conducting the necessary self-criticism, in order to redeem reputations.
At the same time as grasping ideological education, it is necessary to strictly implement political discipline and propaganda discipline, realistically prevent major political mistakes and other grave mistakes; if this sort of problem happens again, it shall be dealt with in conformity with a strict spirit from now on. Newspapers and periodicals that gravely violate discipline, persist in conducting mistaken propaganda that is incompatible with the purpose of running the periodical or the policies in running the periodical, must be timely investigated, and even have their registration cancelled. Work personnel in relevant newspapers and periodicals must unconditionally propagate the Party and government line, principles and policies, persist in putting social interest first, and can absolutely not use the excuse of “news freedom” or “sole responsibility of the author” or only pursuing “economic interest” to wilfully publish mistakes and harmful things, and are even less permitted to use the public opinion tools they grasp to propagate matters opposing the Party’s political stand. It is strictly prohibited to reprint articles published Hong Kong, Macau or overseas anti-Communist newspapers and periodicals that attack or provoke us, it is strictly prohibited for Party members and cadres to secretly establish links with them, or provide internal Party and government documents to them, it is absolutely not permitted to publish articles in these reactionary newspapers and periodicals that oppose our Party’s line, principles and policies, offenders must be prosecuted.
V, All levels’ Party Committees must strengthen leadership over newspaper and periodical rectification work.
The management and rectification of newspapers and periodicals, has been grasped many times in the past, but the effect is not clear, and some problems even develop more gravely. Party Committees in a few exceptional cases have been unwilling to concern themselves with their subordinate newspapers and periodicals, and have procrastinated in dealing with obvious problems. This sort of situation must be turned around starting from this rectification. The Centre requires that all Central and State organ ministries and commissions must be responsible for rectifying newspapers and periodicals run by those departments and their subordinate work units well, all provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committees and governments must be responsible for rectifying newspapers and periodicals run by themselves and subordinate regions and work units. All levels’ Party Committees must list this matter on the agenda, earnestly discuss it, realistically strengthen management, and guarantee that the tasks of newspaper and periodical rectification begin well and end well.
Newspaper and periodical rectification must absolutely be conducted on a basis of full investigation and research, and sizing up the situation. Attitudes must be firm, strive for reliability in work, careless skimping or going through the motions must be avoided, and perfunctory work and simplification must be prevented. All localities and all departments must, under the leadership of Central principles and policies, integrate the real situation, and independently and responsibly do rectification work well, strengthen supervision and inspection, and strictly inspect whether or not rectification meets criteria or not at the end of the period. The Central Propaganda Department shall, together with the State Council Administration of Press and Publications, strengthen links with all localities and all departments, understand the newspaper and periodical rectification situation, grasp focus points and models, research relevant policies, and do guidance and coordination work well.
VI, In the third season of this year, all newspapers and periodicals must re-register with the State Council Administration of Press and Publications or the provincial, autonomous region or municipal press and publications department. All those that are inspected and appraised as having met rectification criteria, are issued with an newspaper and periodical registration certificate. All those where rectification does not meet criteria are not granted registration. Newspapers and periodicals not having a registration certificate can without exception not be subscribed to by subscribers, may not be printed and distributed, offenders are banned. If any province has not yet established a press and publications bureau, they shall rapidly establish this, in order to convenience the responsible undertaking of this tasks. For this, the State Council Administration of Press and Publications shall issue separate documents.
It is necessary to earnestly summarize the experience of the Party and the government in leading newspapers and periodicals. The Central Propaganda Department shall diligently assist the State Council Administration of Press and Publications in completing the drafting work of a Publications Law, perfecting newspaper and periodical management regulations and systems, in order to consolidate the achievements of rectifications and ensure that press and publications management is legalized, systematized and regularized. It is still necessary to guide all localities in adopting measures, realistically strengthening management over book markets, and strengthening management over the printing business, especially small printing shops in villages and towns.
All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committees and all Central and State organ ministries and commissions shall promptly formulate plans to rectify their subordinate newspapers and periodicals on the basis of this Notice, put forward opinions on a rational adjustment and distribution of all sorts of newspapers and periodicals and strengthening management, and report them to the Centre within the second quarter of this year. They shall strive to basically complete newspaper and periodical rectification within this year.