Central Propaganda Department, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and General Administration of Press and Publications Regulations Concerning News Gathering and Editing Personnel Employment Management (Trial)
22 March 2005
In order to strengthen news professional ethics construction, standardize the activities of news gathering and editing personnel, and safeguard the desirable image of the news world, stimulate the healthy development of press undertakings, these Regulations are formulated.
News gathering and editing personnel as named in these Regulations, refers to journalists, editors, producers, presenters, broadcasters, commenters, translators, etc., in news work units such as newspaper offices, news-type periodical offices, press agencies, radio stations, television stations, news websites, etc., engaging in news reporting work such as newsgathering, editing, producing, publishing or broadcasting, etc.
Article 1: News gathering and editing personnel must persist in taking Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important “Three Represents” thought as guidance, support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, support the Socialist system, build political consciousness, a sense of the larger picture and a sense of responsibility, implement policies of unity, stability and encouragement, with positive propaganda at the core, grasp the correct public opinion guidance, support reform and opening op, and modernization construction, serve the people, serve Socialist and serve the larger picture of the entire Party’s and country’s work.
Article 2: News gathering and editing personnel must respect the Constitution and laws, respect the Party’s news discipline, safeguard Party and State interests, safeguard the basic rights and interests of the popular masses. They must strictly preserve Party and State secrets. When reporting on cases violating discipline or laws, they must consciously respect the discipline on case reporting, and pay attention to the political effect and social effect of their reports. When gathering or editing foreign-related news reports, they must obey our country’s foreign-related laws and the international agreements in which our country participates, and implement our country’s foreign policy. When gathering or editing ethnic or religion-related reports, they must obey our country’s ethnic and religious policy and corresponding laws and regulations. They must safeguard the right to privacy of citizens according to the law, and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of objects of reporting according to the law. When gathering or editing negative reports involving minors, they must obey our country’s laws and regulations concerning the protection of minors, and safeguard the rights and interests of minors, and without having obtained agreement of the guardians of minors, may without exception not reveal minors’ names, addresses, images and other information and audiovisual material that makes it able to infer or deduce their real identity.
Article 3: News gathering and reporting personnel must persist in the principles of truth, completeness, objectivity and fairness, and guarantee the accuracy of news facts. They must earnestly verify information sources, and prevent false or inaccurate reporting. A real-name system must be implemented when news reporting is published in news media, and reports must be signed with the true and full name of the writer. They may not intervene with mediation in civil disputes and economic disputes, and may not intervene with the regular activities of judicial adjudication. Where news reports involve controversial content, they must fully hear opinions from all corresponding sides, earnestly check facts, and accurately grasp proper restraint.
Article 4: News gathering and editing personnel must develop a spirit of seeking truth from facts, and respecting and contributing to work, going deep into reality, going deep into life, and going deep into the masses, investigate and research, being pragmatic in seeking the truth, striving to improve work styles and writing styles, incessantly innovating reporting content, form and methods, making news reporting stick close to reality, close to life and close to the masses, strengthening the focus, effect, influence and attraction of news reporting.
Article 5: When news gathering and editing personnel engaging in new reporting activities encounter the following circumstances, they shall withdraw, and may not intervene or exert influence on the gathering, editing, publishing or broadcasting of drafts:
1, news gathering and editing personnel have a marital relationship, direct blood relationship, a blood relative relationship within the third degree as well as an in-law relative relationship with the object of the report;
2, news gathering and editing personnel collect reports involving regions in which that person was born, worked for a long time or lives;
3, news gathering and editing personnel have a relationship of friends, fellow townsperson, classmate, colleagues and have regular contact with the object of the report;
4, news gathering and editing personnel have a relation involving concrete economic, reputation or other benefits with the object of the report.
Article 6: A post rotation system and a position avoidance system is implemented for the main responsible persons of news work units’ branch organs or delegated organs of all levels (branch chiefs, journalist post chiefs, etc.). Where a position has been held for 8 years, they shall be rotated, exchanged or a change of place shall be arranged. News gathering and editing personnel may not be sent to their place of birth, or places where they have worked or lived for a long time to undertake the post of branch chief or journalist post chief.
Article 7: News gathering and editing personnel must resist all sorts of paid-for news activities. They may not use gathering or editing of reports to seek improper gain, may not accept dinner invitations and gifts that may influence the objectivity or fairness of news reporting, may not demand property or other benefits from the object of the report or a person whose interests are concerned, may not engage in paid-for intermediary activities related with their work, may not run private businesses, and may not hold cumulative remunerated positions with other news work units or economic organizations without a subordinate relationship.
Article 8: News gathering and editing personnel must strictly implement regulations on news report and business activity openness. They may not solicit advertisement with the identity of journalists, editors, reviewers, producers, presenters, broadcaster, etc., they may not exchange news reporting for advertising, may not publish or broadcast advertising content disguised as news images, and may not manipulate news reports for commercial gain. News gathering and editing personnel may not conduct news reporting with paper or periodical subscription as condition, may not directly require the work unit or individual about which news is gathered to subscribe to papers or periodicals, and may certainly not force the work unit or individual about which news is gathered to subscribe to newspapers or periodicals, take out advertising or provide support by using criticism or exposure.
Article 9: Standardizing news gathering and reporting personnel credential management and application. Journalist credentials accredited by press and publication work units or radio and television controlling authorities and issued by the State administrative controlling authority for press and publications must be displayed when openly gathering news. Personnel using false journalist credentials or passing themselves off as journalists must be strictly investigated and prosecuted. News work units must open supervision telephones to society, to facilitate mass supervision.
Article 10: News gathering and editing personnel violating regulations or discipline must be investigated and prosecuted according to the relevant regulations and discipline. Where news gathering and editing personnel commit acts of false reporting or paid-for news, and the circumstances are grave, their journalist credentials are revoked without exception. All news gathering and editing personnel of which the journalist credentials are revoked, may not engage in news gathering and editing work within 5 years of the day of revocation; where criminal sentences are imposed because of intentional crime, they may not engage in news gathering and editing work for the rest of their life.
Article 11: These regulations take effect in the main news work units nationwide on the day of promulgation, other news work units will refer to them and try them out.