Notice Concerning Adopting Realistic Measures to Prevent False Reporting

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XCBK No. (2009)920

All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureau, the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps Press and Publications Bureau, the Liberation Army General Political Propaganda Department Press and Publications Bureau, all departments and commissions of Central and State organs, all democratic parties, all controlling organizations of people’s organization periodicals, all central newspaper and periodical publishing work units:

During recent periods, because gravely inaccurate reports have been appearing incessantly in a number of periodicals, and a few editors have concocted false news, a number of periodicals have reprinted unverified reports, creating grave social influence,  gravely influencing the regular social production and life order, and damaging the authoritativeness and credibility of news organs. In order to safeguard the rights and interests of the social public, protect the lawful rights and interests of new parties, safeguard the desirable image of news work units and news workers, the relevant issues are notified as follows:

I, Reality is the life of news work. Periodical publishing work units must perfect news editing and management systems, adopt forceful measures to guarantee that news reports are true, complete, objective and fair. News organs and their news editors, when engaging in news gathering activities, shall persist in correct public opinion guidance, safeguard State interest and the public interest, must earnestly verify the basic facts of the report, guarantee that the news factors in the report are correct and precise, may not release information that has not been verified, may not publish contributions that have not been verified, and may not conceal news facts that should be reported because of nepotism.

II, News teams are an important productive force in news work. Periodical publishing work units must strengthen news team construction, realistically keep the gate of new staff, staff use and verification. Before appointing editors, a complete assessment must be made of the applicant, his professional history must be strictly examined, people of which harmful work records exist such as drafting false reports, paid-for news, using news reports to obtain improper benefits, etc., may without exception not be hired by periodical publishing work units. It is necessary to establish and perfect editor professional training and on-the-job training systems, it is necessary to adopt measures to guarantee the study time of editors, organize concentrated editor training regularly, strengthening study and education on the Marxist view of news, laws and regulations, professional ethics, professional restraint, etc.

III, Perfecting social security is an important guarantee for stable news teams. Periodical publishing work units must standardize recruitment systems, establish and perfect editor social security systems. Labour employment contracts shall be signed with personnel conforming to news editing professional qualification conditions, after passing examination and assessment, according to laws and regulations such as the “Labour Contract Law”, journalist credentials for editors shall be applied for timely, completing editors “three insurances” payment work on time, issuing editor salary on time and completely, and providing perfect social security for editors to normally do their work; it is necessary to strictly differentiate the status of editor and manager, and management targets may not be issued to editorial departments and editors, managing personnel may not undertake activities under the name of editors, editing and management work must have separation of departments, separation of positions and separation of personnel.

IV, Standardizing newsgathering work is an important guarantee for the truthfulness of news reports. Periodical publishing work units must formulate standard requirements for editors engaging in newsgathering activities, establish and complete internal management and supervision systems. Periodical publishing work units must further perfect internal news report topic selection and approval system, new-gathering arrangement plans and news draft examination and signing-off systems, further standardizing gathering and editing processes, perfecting a triple examination system for drafts; journalists conducting news-gathering activities must earnestly verify their news information sources, actively display journalist credentials, completely cover the parties in news items, fully hear opinions from all sides, guarantee that news facts are accurate and precise; journalists reporting on news events must conduct on-the-spot gathering, it is strictly prohibited to create or compile news on the basis of gossip, news events may not be changed or misrepresented on the basis of guesses and imagination , stopping fabrication and the concoction of stories, strictly prohibiting editors abusing the public opinion supervision power, editors are strictly prohibited to use editing activities to gain improper benefits.

V, Strictly verifying reprinted content is an important segment in preventing false and inaccurate reporting. Reprinted news reports must be verified in advance, periodical publishing work units must establish and complete news reprinting examination and verification management mechanisms. Periodicals reprinting news reports must examine them in advance, and ensure that news is only reprinted after its accuracy and precision is verified, news reports, free contributions received from society and Internet information that have not been verified may not be reprinted, it is strictly prohibited to distort original news report facts, and compile or change the original news report content without authorization.

VI, Perfecting responsibility systems is an important method to curb false and inaccurate reporting. Periodical publishing work units must establish and complete responsibility investigation systems. Where reports are inaccurate because journalists’ gathering news is not deep, not complete or not objective, periodicals’ chief editors must represent the work unit in openly apologizing in the periodical, and the periodical publishing work unit must investigate the responsibility of the corresponding responsible person; where journalists have compiled false reports because they did not gather news on the spot, but relied on gossip, periodical chief editors must represent the work unit in openly apologizing in the periodical and two or more main media outlets in that locality, the periodical’s controlling authority must investigate the responsibility of the main responsible persons of the periodical as well as corresponding responsible persons such as journalists, responsible editors, leading personnel in charge, etc.; where deliberately concocted and speculative false news reports create nasty social effects, damage the image of the State and public interest, the periodical’s chief editor shall take the blame and resign, and the controlling work unit must investigate the responsibility of the periodical’s responsible persons; where reports are false or inaccurate because of not having been verified before reprinting, the periodical’s chief editor must represent the work unit in openly apologizing in the periodical, and the periodical publishing work unit must investigate the responsibility of the corresponding responsible person.

Where periodicals publish false or inaccurate reports that cause damage to the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons or other organizations, the parties may raise a lawsuit with the People’s Courts. All levels’ administrative press and publications departments must support the damaged party in upholding their lawful rights and interests according to the law.

VII, Periodicals’ controlling and sponsoring work units must realistically implement management responsibilities, strengthen guidance and management of the newspapers under their control, establish and complete periodical management systems, strictly investigate and prosecute false and inaccurate reports in periodicals, strictly deal with the corresponding responsible persons that publish false news, and report the results of this openly to society.

VIII, Administrative press and publications departments must strengthen supervision and management, strictly investigate and prosecute false and inaccurate news reporting damaging State interests and the public interest, order corresponding periodicals to make corrections publicly, and impose administrative punishments such as warnings, fines and cessation for rectifications according to the law, taking the gravity of the circumstances in regard; journalists that are verified to have written false or inaccurate reports must be warned, and it must be noted on the a negative professional record, where circumstances are grave, their journalist credentials must be cancelled, and they may not conduct news gathering work for five years, where circumstances are especially grave, they may not engage in news gathering work for the rest of their life. All levels’ administrative press and publications departments must adopt effective measures, supervise controlling and sponsoring work units of periodicals in their dealing with the responsible persons of periodicals that they manage and are responsible for.

All levels’ administrative press and publications departments and all controlling and sponsoring work units of periodicals must, according to the spirit of this Notice, require all periodical publishing work units to actively launch self-examination and self-rectification, establish and complete corresponding systems for periodical news-gathering activities, further standardize news gathering and editing work, realistically adopt effective measures, prevent false reporting, and realistically safeguard the credibility of news work units.

It is hereby notified.

General Administration of Press and Publications

24 March 2009

关于采取切实措施制止虚假报道的通知
新出报刊〔2009〕290号

各省、自治区、直辖市新闻出版局,新疆生产建设兵团新闻出版局,解放军总政宣传部新闻出版局,中央和国家机关各部委、各民主党派、各人民团体报刊主管部门,中央各报刊出版单位:
近一段时间以来,由于一些报刊不断出现严重失实报道,个别采编人员炮制虚假新闻,一些报刊转载未经核实的报道,造成恶劣的社会影响,严重影响了正常的社会生产生活秩序,损害了新闻单位的权威性、公信力。为维护社会公众利益,保护新闻当事人合法权益,维护新闻单位和新闻工作者的良好形象,现就有关问题通知如下:
一、真实是新闻工作的生命。报刊出版单位要完善新闻采编管理制度,采取有力措施,确保新闻报道真实、全面、客观、公正。新闻机构及其新闻采编人员从事新闻采访活动,应坚持正确的舆论导向,维护国家利益和公共利益,要认真核实报道的基本事实,确保报道的新闻要素准确无误,不得编发未经核实的信息,不得刊载未经核实的来稿,不得徇私隐匿应报道的新闻事实。
二、新闻队伍是新闻工作的重要生产力。报刊出版单位要加强新闻队伍建设,切实把好进人关、用人关和考核关。聘用采编人员之前,必须对拟聘人员进行全面考查,严格审查其从业经历,对存在搞虚假报道、有偿新闻、利用新闻报道谋取不正当利益等不良从业记录的人员,报刊出版单位一律不得聘用。要建立健全采编人员上岗培训和在岗培训制度,要采取措施保证采编人员的学习时间,定期组织采编人员集中学习,加强马克思主义新闻观、法律法规、职业道德和专业素养等的学习和教育。
三、完善社会保障是稳定新闻队伍的重要保证。报刊出版单位要规范用工制度,建立健全采编人员社会保障制度。对符合新闻采编从业资格条件的人员,经考试、考核合格后,应按照《劳动合同法》等法律规定签订劳动聘用合同,及时为采编人员申领新闻记者证,按期做好采编人员的“三险”缴纳工作,按时足额发放采编人员工资并为采编人员正常开展工作提供完善的社会保障;要严格区分采编人员和经营人员身份,不得向采编部门及采编人员下达经营指标,经营人员不得以采编人员名义开展活动,采编和经营工作要做到部门分开、岗位分开、人员分开。
四、规范采访活动是确保新闻真实的重要保障。报刊出版单位要制订采编人员从事采编活动的规范要求,建立健全内部管理监督机制。报刊出版单位要进一步完善新闻报道的内部选题报批制度、采访安排计划和新闻稿件审签制度,进一步规范采访编辑流程,完善稿件三审制度;记者开展采访活动必须认真核实新闻消息来源,主动出示新闻记者证,全面采访新闻当事人,充分听取各方意见,确保新闻事实准确无误;记者报道新闻事件必须进行实地采访,严禁依据道听途说制造或编写新闻,不得凭借猜测想象改变或歪曲新闻事实,杜绝无中生有、胡编乱造,严禁采编人员滥用舆论监督权,严禁采编人员利用采编活动谋取不正当利益。
五、严格审核转载内容是防止虚假、失实报道扩大传播的重要环节。转载新闻报道必须事先核实,报刊出版单位要建立健全新闻转载的审核管理制度。报刊转载新闻报道事先必须核实,确保新闻事实准确无误后方可转载,不得转载未经核实的新闻报道、社会自由来稿和互联网信息,严禁歪曲原新闻报道事实、擅自编写或改变原新闻报道内容的行为。
六、完善问责制度是遏制虚假、失实报道的重要手段。报刊出版单位要建立健全责任追究制度。因记者采访不深入、不全面、不客观导致报道失实的,报刊总编辑要代表单位在本报刊上公开道歉,报刊出版单位要追究相关责任人责任;因记者未实地采访,仅凭道听途说编写虚假报道的,报刊总编辑要代表单位通过本报刊和当地两家以上主要媒体公开道歉,报刊主管单位要追究报刊主要负责人以及记者、责任编辑、分管领导等相关责任人的责任;对蓄意炮制和炒作虚假新闻造成恶劣社会影响、损害国家形象和公共利益的,报刊总编辑应引咎辞职,主管单位要追究报刊负责人责任;因未核实转载虚假、失实报道的,报刊总编辑要代表单位在本报刊上公开道歉,报刊出版单位要追究相关责任人责任。
报刊刊载虚假、失实报道导致公民、法人或其他组织的合法权益受到侵害的,当事人可向人民法院提起诉讼。各级新闻出版行政部门要支持受害方依法维护合法权益。
七、报刊主管主办单位要切实履行管理责任,加强所属报刊的导向管理,建立健全报刊管理制度,严肃查处报刊虚假、失实报道,严肃处理刊载虚假新闻的相关责任人,并向社会公开通报处理结果。
八、新闻出版行政部门要加强监管,严肃查处损害国家利益和公共利益的虚假、失实报道,责令有关报刊公开更正,并视情节轻重依法对报刊做出警告、罚款、停业整顿的行政处罚;对经查实采写虚假、失实报道的记者,要给予警告,并列入不良从业记录名单,情节严重的要吊销其新闻记者证,五年内不得从事新闻采编工作,情节特别严重的,终身不得从事新闻采编工作。各级新闻出版行政部门要采取有效措施,监督报刊主管主办单位对负有管理责任的报刊负责人做出处理。
各级新闻出版行政部门、各报刊主管主办单位要根据本通知精神,要求各报刊出版单位主动开展自查自纠,建立健全报刊采访活动的有关制度,进一步规范新闻采编工作,切实采取有效措施,制止虚假报道,切实维护新闻单位的公信力。
特此通知。
新闻出版总署
二〇〇九年三月二十四日

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