Notice Concerning Strengthening Press and Publications, and Radio and Television Sector Management

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Central Committee General Office, State Council General Office, 14 December 1996, No. S[1996]37

All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committees and People’s Government, all ministries and commissions of Central and State organs, Central Military Commission General Political Department, all People’s Organizations:

Since the reform and opening up, our country’s press and publications, and radio and television sector have developed rapidly, and have developed a vigorous function in stimulating the construction of a socialist material civilization and spiritual civilization and satisfying the masses’ daily increasing cultural and spiritual needs. But, because scales and quantities have increased overly fast, there has been duplicate establishment, and personnel quality and management cannot keep up, not only creating waste of finances, but also influencing the quality of spiritual products. A number of work units publish and broadcast works and programmes with low moral quality and unhealthy content, and even having grave political influence, with very bad influence on society, the masses strongly reflect this. The Central Committee demands to adopt powerful steps, to administer the breaking up and scattering phenomena in the press and publication and radio and television sectors. With the agreement of the Central Committee and the State Council: the relevant issue of the administration work are notified as follows:

I, Guiding ideology and target needs

Persisting in taking Deng Xiaoping’s construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics theory as guidance, persisting in the basic party line and principles of the Party, according to the principles of “controlling quantity, adjusting the system, raise quality, enhance benefit”, powerful steps will be adopted, implementing comprehensive administration, stimulation the press and publications and radio and television sectors to change from giving fist place to scale and quantity to giving first place to quality raising. All administration steps must benefit strengthening and improving of the Party’s guidance over press and publication and radio and television work, persisting in the correct political orientation; benefiting correctly handling the relationship between social interest and economic interest, social interest must be placed first; benefiting  progressive shaping of a development structure of reasonable deployment, optimized mechanisms, clear benefits, full of energy, to stimulate the further prospering and healthy development of the press and publication and radio and television sector.

The general arrangement of administration work is: in the first half of 1997, engaging in investigation and research, formulating schemes, engaging in administration, stopping the development momentum of scattering and overflowing phenomena; and afterwards using about two years of time, to completely implement administration steps, complete the relevant regulatory structure, raise quality, basically change the situation of scattering and overflowing.

2, Newspapers and periodicals sector administration

Focusing on transforming internal newspapers and periodicals, compressing newspapers and periodicals waiting for employment. (1) Establishment of newspapers and periodicals, will be approved by the General Administration for Press and Publication in a unified way. Establishment of scientific periodicals, must be brought into the national general planning for newspapers and periodicals development planning, and after examination by the General Administration of Press and Publications, be approved by the State Committee of Science and Technology. (2) Within three years from now, the level of open transformed newspapers and periodicals will be basically maintained, raising of quality and optimizing mechanisms will be the focus. (3) Newspapers and periodicals classification will be redifferentiated. The first class is domestic and foreign transformed newspapers and periodicals, the second class is domestic transformed newspapers and periodicals, the third class is provincial, autonomous region and municipal transformed newspapers and periodicals. (4) Transforming internal newspapers and periodicals. A number of currently existing internal newspapers and periodicals, shall be turned into guidance work of that system or work unit, internal materials circulating information shall no longer be included in the list of newspapers and periodicals, shall not be transformed into society, and may not make profit, and may not publish advertisements in the periodicals. A part of currently existing internal newspapers and periodicals of high quality and social interest, after examination, may be approved to change into a domestic or provincial transformed newspaper or periodical. (5) Newspapers awaiting work are mainly sponsored by the Central Committee and the State ministries and commissions. From now on, no more provincial-level or lower newspapers awaiting work or enterprise papers will be approved; for those currently exiting and of high quality, a number may be kept after examination, the others must be progressively cancelled in principle; sector periodicals and periodicals published by enterprises and institutions, and social organizations, must be powerfully compressed, to strengthen management. Newspapers and periodicals violating regulations, of bad quality and not meeting the required conditions or demands must be closed down. (7) In rectification of newspaper and periodical distribution, it is forbidden to allot unhealthy tendencies. Distribution work of Party newspapers and Party periodicals must be done well.

III, Radio and television sector administration

Focusing on resolving unauthorized station establishment, duplication of stations and chaotic overbroadcasting. (1) Establishment of all levels’ and all sorts of radio and television broadcast and transmitting mechanisms, must be approved by the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television in a unified way. State Radio Management Committee divides the specialized frequencies and channels of the radio and film sector, they will be planned and divided by the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. (2) Radio stations, television stations and cable television stations without approval of the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television must be cancelled or transformed into relay stations. Those certainly needing to establish a station and meeting conditions, must report for approval. (3)  Local and subordinate to local organs counties and cities  may not separately establish radio and television broadcast organs, and those separately established must be merged. City jurisdictions may not establish radio and television broadcast organs, townships and towns may not establish television broadcast organs. (4) Currently existing county radio stations, television stations and cable television stations must merge into one broadcasting body, mainly transmitting central and provincial radio and television programme, they are allowed to make a small quantity of local news and special interest programmes themselves, and can only broadcast film and television art programmes purchased or obtained from channels stipulated by the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. (5) A one-time examination and assessment of lower-than province level education television channels must be conducted, those not meeting conditions must be cancelled or turned into relay stations. From now on, no more county-level education television channels will be approved for establishment. Already existing county-level education television channels may merge with county-level county radio and television broadcast organs, and set up an education channel. Education television stations may not broadcast films and television programs not concerning educational content. (6) Enterprises and institutions work units’ cable television stations will be changed into cable television posts, and will be integrated into the cable television network of that administrative district, mainly transmitting, and are allowed to make a small quantity of local news and special interest programmes themselves, and may not broadcast films and television dramas by themselves. (7) According to demands and possibility, radio and television programme cycles will be reasonably set up. All sorts of special interest posts set up by radio stations, television stations and cable television stations will be without exception change name to a special interest channel or numbered set of programmes. Radio and television programme import and broadcast management will be strengthened.  Foreign films and television programmes, cartoons, etc., used for broadcast, will be imported and examined by the Ministry for Radio, Film and Television in a unified way. Broadcasting organs chaotically and overflowingly broadcasting in violation of these regulations must be severely punished. (9) Television drama production work units and shooting permits will be strictly examined, approved and managed, in order to guarantee television drama production quality. (1) Focussing on raising the coverage ratio of central and provincial radio and television stations, radio and television coverage network planning, construction and management will be strengthened. (11) “Radio and Television Management Regulations” will be formulated as soon as possible.

IV, Book publication sector administration

Focusing on resolving duplicate publication, publishing exceeding work division, book number selling and buying, as well as phenomena and problems of not being able to stop books with unhealthy content or content violation regulations and illegal publication activities. (1) Within three years from now, the amount of book publishers will be basically maintained, optimizing mechanisms, raising publication quality are stressed. Publishers violating laws and principles and not conforming to stipulated conditions will be earnestly rectified, those not meeting the demands must be determinedly cancelled. (2)Strictly serving publication special work division regulations, it is prohibited to publish books exceeding the work division scope. For major publishing items, a “publication qualifications accreditation” system will be established, those not obtaining qualifications, may not publish books concerning leading persons, military affairs and foreign affairs, as well as encyclopaedias, dictionaries, large-size ancient works, maps, etc. (3) Strengthening book publication selected topics examination and approval management, specialized reporting and approval system will be strictly implemented for all sorts of selected topics. Measures will be adopted to resolve the total amount of low-level, low quality duplication publishing. Concerning selected topics such as large collectanea book sets, collected works, collected literature, history books, etc., it is necessary to pay attention to market demands, properly control the assortment, guarantee publication quality, publishers must strictly implement an editing “Three application system” (4) Strictly implementing relevant regulations on quick import, will guarantee quick import quality. To those quickly importing in violation of regulations, must be strictly punished, up to the cancelling of book import qualifications and the responsible personnel will be punished according to the law. (5) The “State Council General Office Notice Concerning Determinedly Banning Illegal Publication Activities” (SCS [1996]3) must be strictly upheld, buying and selling of book number activities will be severely published, book market management will be strengthened, the distribution order will be rectified, the “sweeping away pornography, striking illegality” struggle will be persistently developed.

V, Audiovisual sector administration

Focusing on resolving problems such as the weakness of audio and video products duplication work units management, overflowing import of art audiovisual products and infringement of intellectual property rights.

(1)  A special sort of sector management will be established for audiovisual duplication work units. For duplication and dealing in audiovisual products, an audiovisual products duplication business permit issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication and a special sector permit issued by the public security entities must be held. Without permission, any work unit may not engage in audiovisual product duplication and dealing work. Within three years from now, the number of audiovisual publication and duplication work units will basically be maintained, optimizing mechanisms and raising publications quality will be focussed on. (2) The “Notice Concerning Further Strengthening Compact Disc Duplication Management” issued jointly by the Central Propaganda Department and seven other ministries and commissions must be earnestly implemented, and powerful steps taken, in order to investigate and prosecute illegal compact disc production lines and duplication points. (3) Magnetic tape duplication plants (points) must be earnestly tidied, to those not conforming to relevant regulations, rectification will be carried out. (4) Art audiovisual product import management will be strengthened. With certification for re-applying publishers to publish imported art audiovisual products, the publication work units having this sort of qualifications shall suitably be compressed. Necessary regulation and control will be implemented over imported audiovisual product assortment and quantity. (5) The “Audiovisual Products Management Regulations” promulgated by the State Council must be earnestly implemented, audiovisual publication work units business activities must be strictly standardized, buying and selling of publication numbers is strictly prohibited, infringing and pirating activities will be attacked, safeguarding the regular order of the audiovisual publication sector.

VI, Strengthening organization leadership over administration work

All regions and all entities must start from the larger picture, grasp prospering with one hand, grasp management with one hand, earnestly and carefully, coordinatedly and unanimously finish administration duties over the press and publications and radio and television sectors. The Central Propaganda Department must strengthen guidance and coordination over this work. The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Radio and Television and the General Administration of Press and Publication must respectively formulate concrete administration plans for newspapers and periodicals, radio and television, books, audiovisual products, etc., and strengthen content management, earnestly implement systems such as yearly inspection, work certification, etc. It is necessary to strengthen electronic publication management on the basis of examination and research, and formulate management regulations as soon as possible. Relevant entities such as public security, post and telecommunications, industry and commerce, etc., must vigorously cooperate, to do the administration work well. All provincial, autonomous region and provincial Party Committees and People’s Government must strengthen leadership over administration work, integrate the reality of that situation, organize forces, formulate steps, grasp implementation, and timely report the work situation. Controlling authorities and sponsoring work units must, according to the principle of “who is in charge is responsible”, perform ideological and political work and relevant aftermath work for removed and merged work units and personnel, to guarantee the smooth completion of administration duties

Central Committee General Office, State Council General Office

14 December 1996.


中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅 1996年12月14日 厅字[1996]37号
















中共中央办公厅 国务院办公厅



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