Central Propaganda Department, Ministry of Radio, Film and Television, Administration of Press and Publications, the All-China News Workers Association
ZXF No. 2
15 January 1997
All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department, Radio and Television Offices (Bureaus), Press and Publications Bureaus, Journalist Associations, all main central news work units:
The “Central Committee Resolution concerning Some Important Questions in Strengthening Socialist Spiritual Civilization Construction” clearly put forward: “establishing and completing regulatory systems, strengthening team education and management. Strictly prohibiting paid-for news, selling of book numbers and unreasonable demands of high remuneration.” In order to implement the spirit of the “Resolution”, strengthen news teams’ professional ethics construction, prohibit paid-for news, safeguard the reputation of news work and the good image of news teams, establish a new sector style of respecting work and contributions, being upright, just, honest and clean, according to relevant regulations promulgated by the Central Propaganda Department and the Administration of Press and Publications, integrating the new circumstances, the following provisions are reiterated and formulated:
I, When news work units gather, edit and issue news, they may not receive fees in any way. News workers may not ask for money or goods under any name from newsgathering and reporting counterparts, and may not accept monies, goods, value vouchers, credit cards, etc., from newsgathering and reporting counterparts in any way.
II, News workers may not borrow or try out cars, housing, home electrics, communications tools and other goods from newsgathering and reporting counterparts in any way.
III, News workers participating in press conferences and enterprise opening up, product market introductions and other celebration activities, may not demand or accept cash gifts in any way.
IV, News work units’ on-the-job journalists and editors may not hold posts in other enterprise or undertaking work units concurrently or obtain remuneration; without authorization from their work units’ leader, they may not accept offers to assume a position of journalist, special correspondent or special contributor concurrently in other news work units.
V, News workers individually may not conduct newsgathering and reporting activities in unauthorized groups.
VI, News workers may not put forward special requests outside of work, related to individual life aspects during newsgathering activities, and they are strictly prohibited to love ostentation, compare wealth and squander public funds.
VII, News workers may not utilize the conveniences of their position to demand other persons to perform private tasks for them, and they are strictly prohibited to adopt “public exposure”, “editing and releasing internal reference” and other methods to coerce other persons to achieve individual objectives.
VIII, News reports and advertising must be strictly separated, news reporting may not collect any fees, and no advertising may be made for enterprises or products in the form of news reports. All special editions, special numbers, special pages, special columns, programmes, etc., receiving fees, must have an advertising symbol, and be separated from other, non-advertising information.
IX, News reports must be strictly separated from assistance, and newsgathering and publishing news reports may not be used to collect support. News work units must bring all support fees, or “joint funds” obtained through organizing “soliciting articles”, “competitions”, “special theme programmes”, etc., under the uniform management of their work units’ financial department, for reasonable use and to be accounted for regularly. When obtaining support or jointly organizing columns or programmes, only the name of the supporting or jointly organizing work unit may be announced, and no propaganda may be made of the image and products of the supporting or jointly organizing work unit in the form of writing, spoken language, images, etc.
X, News reports must be separated from commercial activities. News work units shall have specialist personnel engaging in advertising and other commercial work, and may not transfer business income tasks to editorial departments. Journalists and editors may not engage in advertising and other commercial activities.
All news work units must, according to the above regulations, integrate the reality of their work unit, formulate implementation rules and earnestly implement them.
Internal supervision systems must be established and completed, giving rein to the function of discipline inspection and supervision departments, and guaranteeing the satisfactory implementation of regulations. Social supervision must be accepted, and the All-China News Workers’ Association and all news work units must respectively publish reporting telephones to society, guarantee that there are special people responsible and earnestly accept this. Of individuals violating the above regulations, the news work unit and the controlling department confiscate their unlawful income, and, in regard of the gravity of the circumstances, impose the punishment of criticism and education, report of criticism, Party discipline and government discipline, up to discharge, those violating laws are transferred to the judicial organs, who will deal with them. Work units gravely violating the above regulations, will be subject to administrative punishment by the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television and the Press and Publications Administration. Model cases must be selected and openly reported, to promote the prohibition of paid-for news work to be conducted deeply and lastingly, and strive to obtain effect.