Some Regulations Concerning Strictly Preventing False News Reporting

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Notice Concerning Printing and Issuance of the “Some Regulations Concerning Strictly Preventing False News Reports”

XCZF No. (2011)14

All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publication bureaus, the Xinjiang production-construction corps press and publications bureau, the Liberation Army’s General Political Department Propaganda Department Press and Publications Bureau, the all ministries and commissions of Central and State organs, all democratic parties, all people’s organization newspaper and periodical controlling departments, and the main Central news work units:

In recent times, under the influence of false network information, there is an upward tendency of false news or inaccurate reports in traditional media, which has to a certain extent damaged the image of the government, disordered news order and lowered the credibility of the media, with grave social reaction. In order to realistically safeguard the credibility of press and broadcast, prevent news fabrication from the source, the General Administration of Press and Publications has formulated the “Some Opinions Concerning Strictly Preventing False News Reports”, according to relevant State laws and administrative regulations, putting forward clear requirements in aspects such as rules basically standardizing press reporters’ newsgathering, standardizing press organs’ internal management, prevention and dealing with false and inaccurate reports, as well as corresponding responsibility investigation, etc. These are presently printed and issued to you, please implement them earnestly in integration with reality.

14 October 2011

Some Regulations Concerning Strictly Preventing False News Reporting

Truth is the basis of the life of news and the credibility of media, and is also a basic criterion for news workers. In order to prevent inaccurate reporting and stop false news, according to relevant State laws and administrative regulations, these Regulations are formulated.

Article 1: News reporters’ conducting newsgathering activities must abide by State laws and regulations, and are strictly prohibited to edit and release false news and inaccurate reports.

(1) All domestic news organs’ news journalists engaging in newsgathering activities must persist in gathering news with certification. The news reporter credentials approved and issued by the General Administration of Press and Publications is valid proof of the professional identity of news reporters nationwide, and is the only lawful credential for domestic news reporters engaging in newsgathering activities. News reporters shall actively display their news reporter credentials to the targets of their gathering during newsgathering activities to show their identity, and consciously accept social supervision.

(2) News reporters engaging in newsgathering and reporting must persist in the principles of truth, accuracy, completely, objectivity and fairness, deeply go into on-the spot investigation and research for news, fully understand the truth of the matter, completely hear opinions from all parties concerned in the news, objectively reflect facts and statements from all aspects corresponding to the event, and avoid to only use statements from one certain party concerned with the news or singular fact evidence.

(3) News journalists editing and issuing news reports must persist in seeking truth from facts, may not issue false news, are strictly prohibited to edit news on the basis of gossip or fabricate news details, may not transform or fabricate news facts by relying on subjective guesses, may not intentionally distort the truth of the matter, and may not conduct influence in order to change the truthfulness of news picture or news video content.

(4) News journalists reporting news events must persist in on-the-spot gathering, use information from authoritative channels or verifiable facts, and may not edit and release news on the basis of non-first hand material such as unverified social hearsay.

(5) News reporters conducting criticizing reports must at least have two or more different news sources, and after earnest verification preserve corresponding evidence from all sides, guarantee the truth, objectivity and accuracy of the news report, news analysis and discussion articles must achieve fair judgement and a correct orientation on the basis of accurate facts.

Article 2: News organs must establish and compete internal management systems for the prevention of false news.

(1) News organs must strictly standardize newsgathering and editing processes, establish and complete draft publication examination and verification system. Strictly implement news draft examination and verification executive editor systems and news draft publication editor-in-chief responsibility system, clarify the draft-checking responsibilities in all segments of gathering, editing and publishing, persist in “checking thrice, proofreading thrice”, earnestly examine and verify news sources and report content, guaranteeing press reports’ truthfulness, objectivity and accuracy.

(2) News organs must standardize the use of information sources. Regardless of whether it is self-gathered or transmitted news reporting, the source of the news information must be clearly indicated, and truthfully reflect the method in which the news was obtained. Apart from special circumstances, such as where it endangers State security or secrets, etc., news reports must indicate the full name, post and work unit name of the newsgathering reporter and the newsgathering target, and may not use concepts such as authoritative persons, related persons, informative persons, etc., to obscure the source of news information.

(3) news organs must strictly apply information systems for voluntary social contributions and the Internet, may not directly use unverified network information and mobile telephone information, and may not directly use unverified voluntary social contributions. Concerning information obtained through channels such as telephone, mail, microblogs, blogs, etc., if it has news value, news organs must before publishing send their own editing journalists to verify point for point that there are no mistakes, and only then may it be used.

(4) News organs must perfect news reprinting examination and verification management mechanisms. Reprinted or rebroadcast news reports must be verified in advance, guaranteeing that news fact sources are reliable, correct and without mistakes, and may only then be reprinted or rebroadcast, and the first issuing media must be accurately and clearly indicated. Unverified news reports may not be reprinted or rebroadcast, it is strictly prohibited to quote out of context during reprinting or rebroadcasting, distort original news report facts or change the original news report’s content without authorization.

(5) News organs must establish and complete news article signing rules. When publishing news reports, the newsgathering reporter and the responsible editor’s true names must be signed; no-one may sign a draft that was not edited personally; when publishing voluntary social contributions that have been verified, the true name of the writer must be signed.

(6) News organs must perfect public opinion polling results’ publishing systems. When publishing reports involving public opinion polling, authoritative standards and data sources must be used, and polling data such as network polling, polling among the people, random market interviews, etc., must be used cautiously, in the report, the polling commissioner, implementer, survey objective, overall survey, sampling methods, sample quantity, etc., must be indicated, and survey results objectively reflected.

)7) News organs must straiten personnel management systems, and persist in reporter and editor professional entry systems. They must timely arrange for corresponding credentials for professional qualifications such as news reporter credentials, etc., to reporters and editors meeting qualifications of their record and assessment. All editing personnel must be a personnel member having signed and employment contract with the news organ according to the “Labour Contract Law”, it is strictly prohibited for temporary personnel, journalists without credentials and editors without a job title to implement gathering tasks or take the role of an executive editor. It is prohibited to employ personnel  having bad professional activities or discipline in news gathering and editing or currently being in a professional limitation period to engage in newsgathering and editing work.

Article 3: News organs must establish and complete false and inaccurate reporting rectification and correction systems, and perfect false and inaccurate report responsibility investigation systems.

(1) News organs must establish and complete procedures and mechanisms for receiving masses’ reports, complaints, examination, punishment and feedback, and correctly deal with the problem of false and inaccurate reporting, earnestly hear opinions of parties concerned in news over news reporting content, accept complaints from the social public concerning news report content, seek truth from facts in verifying newsgathering and editing segments and newsgathering evidence, timely issue examination results and appropriately deal with disputes caused by news reports.

(2) News organs must establish correction mechanisms for false and inaccurate reporting. In every case where falsehoods or inaccuracies are found to exist in reports through investigation and examination, news organs shall timely publish a correction in that media, to eliminate their influence; where these lead to grave infringement of the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons or other social organizations, organs shall bear civil responsibility according to the law, and pay compensation for damage.

(3) News organs must establish and perfect false and inaccurate reporting responsibility investigation mechanisms. Where news reporters’ newsgathering is not deep or editors’ gate keeping not strict, leading to inaccurate reporting, news organs must apologize openly through the media concerned, and investigate the responsibility of the corresponding responsible person; where news reports haven’ gathered news on-the-spot, and only rely on network information or gossip to edit false reports, news organs must openly apologize, the news organs’ controlling work unit must investigate the responsibility of the news organ’s main responsible person as well as corresponding responsible persons such as reporters, executive editors, leadership in charge, etc.; where false reports are deliberately concocted, creating evil social influence, damaging State interests and public interests, apart from strictly punishing the responsible person, news organs’ controlling work units must also investigate the responsibility of the news organ’s main responsible persons.

Article 4: Administrative press and publications departments must strengthen administrative supervision, and strictly investigate and prosecute false and inaccurate reporting damaging State interests and public interests.

(1) Where news organs and their news reporters violate these Regulations, the administrative press and publications department may adopt the following administrative measures, with regard to the gravity of the circumstances:

1: notification of criticism;

2: order to correct within a limited time;

3: order of open self-criticism;

4: order to news organs’ main responsible persons to take the blame and resign.

(2) Where news reporters edit and issue false news that damages State interests or the public interest, or publish inaccurate reports that create problems such as evil social influence, etc., the administrative press and publications department will impose a warning according to regulations and rules such as the “Publishing Management Regulations”, the “News Reporter Credential Management Rules”, etc.; where circumstances are grave, their news reporter credentials will be cancelled according to the law, notes will be entered of their bad practice, and they may not engage in newsgathering and editing work for five years; where it constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility will be investigated according to the law, and they may not engage in newsgathering and editing work for the rest of their life.

(3) Where news organs have one of the following acts, the provincial-level or higher administrative press and publications department will impose punishment according to rules and regulations such as the “Publishing Management Regulations”, the “News Reporter Credential Management Rules”, etc., where circumstances are grave, cessation of business for rectification or cancellation of publishing permits will be imposed:

1: publishing false news reports that damage State interests or the public interest, or publishing inaccurate reports that create evil social influence;

2. not having established or completed and implemented all newsgathering and management systems according to these Regulations;

3. refusing to publish apologies or corrections concerning confirmed false news reports;

4. not trying one’s best in management duties, causing that news organ’s professional personnel to violate relevant laws and regulations, and punished administratively by administrative press and publications departments or punished for criminal responsibility by judiciary organs.

Article 5: These Regulations take effect on the day of implementation.







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