All provincial, autonomous region and municipal and the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps publication bureaus, “sweeping pornography and striking illegality” offices, discipline inspection groups’ supervision offices inside bureaus, all relevant Centre and State organs, all democratic parties, all people’s organizations’ periodical controlling departments, all Centre newspaper and periodical publishing work units.
In recent years, the General Administration of Press and Publications has continuously launched special campaigns attacking false newspapers and periodicals, false journalist stations, false journalists and false news, the problem of violating of laws and regulations in the news publishing area has been put under control preliminarily. But, the problem of seeking profit by using or feigning newsgathering activities in society is still relatively prominent in a number of regions. In order to further attack genuine an false journalists’ activities gravely violating laws and regulations of conducting blackmail under the name of “exposure), standardize newsgathering and editing procedures, safeguard social harmony and stability, create a desirable social environment for the victorious convocation of the 18th Party Congress, the General Administration of Press and Publications, the Nationwide “Sweeping Pornography and Striking Illegality” Work Small Group Office, and the Central Discipline Inspection Committee’s Discipline Inspection Group inside the General Administration of Press and Publications have decided to launch a nationwide three-month campaign to attack “news blackmailing” and deal with paid-for news from 15 May 2012 until 15 August. This special campaign scope of attack and handling includes: social organs or personnel posing as new work units or news journalists engaging in so-called newsgathering activities and using “newsgathering” activities to engage in blackmail and extortion; news journalists using newsgathering activities for personal gain, and accepting “red envelopes” from enterprises and public relations organs; newspaper and periodical publishing work units and their work personnel distributing advertising under the guise of news, and conducting paid-for news or “paid-for non-news”, etc. Hereby, the relevant matters are notified as follows:
I, All levels’ law enforcement departments must meticulously, deeply and earnestly organize and launch the special law enforcement campaign to investigate and prosecute “news blackmail” and paid-for news.
All provincial (regional, municipal) administrative press and publications departments, “sweeping pornography and striking illegality” offices and discipline inspection organization supervision offices inside organs give high regard to this special campaign, and a campaign leading small group must be established, joint work groups organized, and special campaign work plans researched and formulated according to the requirements of this notice, in order to launch the special law enforcement campaign to investigate and prosecute “news blackmail” and paid-for news with the provinces as unit of concentration. This special campaign must strictly attack illegal newsgathering activities of false journalists, strictly investigate and prosecute newspaper and periodical publishing work units conducting paid-for news, strictly deal with news journalists conducting “news blackmail”, paid-for news, “paid-for non-news” and other unlawful news activities, persist in safeguarding regular newsgathering order, strictly protect the legal newsgathering rights and interests of news journalists and focus on doing work in the following few aspects well.
1. Strengthening news and propaganda, broadening supervision channels, creating a good public opinion atmosphere for launching the special campaign. All levels’ administrative press and publications departments must issue work deployments on launching the special campaign through local main news media and government websites, and broadly propagate the management regulations that domestic news organs’ newsgathering and editing personnel must engage in newsgathering carrying their journalist credentials. Concerning mining, medial treatment, food and other sectors where accidents often happen and suburban and small town regions where lawsuits are high, through newspapers and periodicals, radio, television, networks, propaganda leaflets and many other methods, propagating the main characteristics of unlawful news activities, methods to guard against them and methods and ways of examining the identity of journalists. Establishing reporting telephone lines and publishing them to society, vigorously accepting reports from the masses, earnestly verifying reported problems, granting strict secrecy to reporting persons. Organizing model cases for media reports, broadly mobilizing society to participate in and the masses to support this, expand momentum for the smooth launching of this special campaign, and creating an atmosphere.
(2) Strictly enforcing the law, mutually cooperating, determinedly investigating and prosecuting grave problems of violating laws and regulations of “news blackmail”, paid-for news, etc. All levels’ administrative press and publications departments must expand investigation and prosecution strength against news journalists’ acts violating laws and regulations, cases involving fake newspapers and periodicals, fake journalists and fake journalist stations are to be filed, investigated and handled by “sweeping pornography and striking illegality” departments. Discipline inspection organs must perform petition supervision and case coordination work well. All levels’ law enforcement departments must strengthen case clue collection, firmly establish a batch of focus supervision cases, concentrate forces to expand attack and handling strength, strictly investigate and prosecute a batch of model “news blackmail” and paid for news cases. All case clues grasped by localities and all relevant departments and other matters that need to be dealt with, where they do not fall under that region’s or that department’s scope of jurisdiction or need to be handled in cooperation with other regions or departments, must be timely reported to the corresponding regions and departments.
All levels’ law enforcement departments inspecting news activities violating laws and regulations, must collect audio recordings, video recordings, receipts and other evidence according to procedure, produce good inquiry and investigation notes, determine the concrete nature and category of the activity and deal with it. Those engaging in newsgathering activities in violation of regulations with false credentials, shall have the credentials confiscated according to the law, dealt with and go on record; where it is verified that newsgathering or editing personnel’s unlawful case has already created grave consequences, administrative punishments must be imposed according to the law, and according to the “Bad Professional Activity Registration Rules for Newsgathering and Editing Personnel”, timely be reported to the General Administration of Press and Publications to impose work limitation or work prohibition according to the law; those suspected of having committed a crime, must be transferred to the judicial organs in order to prosecute their criminal responsibility.
3. Further perfecting work mechanisms, timely organizing supervision and inspection, guaranteeing that the special campaign obtains results. All provincial (regional, municipal) administrative press and publications departments must integrate strictly attacking “news blackmail” and paid-for news with launching the news battle line “three study and education” activities, standardizing newsgathering and editing activities, and correcting unhealthy tendencies within the sector, actively strive for the support of propaganda departments, rectification departments and public security organs, and adopt joint operations when necessary. All provincial (regional, municipal) administrative press and publications departments, “sweeping pornography and striking illegality” offices, discipline inspection and supervision organs within bureaus conduct inspection of the work deployment, task implementation and other situations in focus regions. The General Administration of Press and Publications and the Discipline Inspection Office within GAPP will, jointly with the Nationwide “Sweeping Pornography and Striking Illegality” Work Small Group Office and other relevant departments, send inspection groups to conduct inspection of the launching situation of the special campaign, and will notify the inspection results to all localities.
II, Newspaper and periodical controlling and sponsoring organs must earnestly implement supervision and management duties, realistically rectify problems of paid-for news, “paid-for non-news” and other problems with newspapers and periodicals.
Newspaper and periodical controlling and sponsoring work units must earnestly implement their duties, supervise newspaper and periodical publishing work units in launching self-inspection and self-rectification, realistically strengthen supervision, inspection and management over their subordinate newspapers and periodicals situation of engaging in paid-for news, “paid-for non-news”, etc.
Newspaper and periodical controlling and sponsoring work units must earnestly implement their management duties over their subordinate newspaper and periodicals and their personnel, organize and deploy their subordinate newspaper and periodical publishing work units to earnestly launch self-inspection and self-rectification according to relevant regulations and the requirements of this Notice, inspect the work situation of the journalist stations of their subordinate newspapers and periodicals, supervise newspaper and periodical publishing work units’ earnest self-inspection, strict rectification, and examine newspaper and periodical publishing work units’ self-inspection and self-rectification work reports.
Newspaper controlling work units must establish and complete responsibility investigation systems, and where grave problems of violating laws and regulations such as journalists producing paid-for news, “paid-for non-news”, “news blackmail”, etc., repeatedly occur, controlling departments must investigate the responsibility of the main leaders of the newspaper and periodical publishing work unit, the division leaders and other corresponding responsible persons; where the national interest or the public interest is damaged or evil social influences are created, controlling departments must investigate the responsibility of the main person in charge of the newspaper and periodical publishing work unit, and timely restructure and substantiate leadership ranks.
III, Newspaper and periodical publishing work units must earnestly implement relevant regulations, strengthen system construction and team management, and consciously resist paid-for news and “paid-for non-news”
Newspaper and periodical publishing work units and their newsgathering and editing personnel must earnestly abide by the requirements of the “Some Provisions Concerning Prohibiting Paid-For News” issued by the Central Propaganda Department and four other departments and the “Central Propaganda Department, SARFT and General Administration of Press and Publication Regulations Concerning Newsgathering and Editing Personnel Professional Management (Trial), perfect internal management mechanisms, consciously resist paid-for news, “paid-for non-news”, determinedly clear up gathering and editing personnel where harmful behaviour exists, earnestly launch self-examination and self-rectification according to the following seven points, and report to the controlling and sponsoring work units in written form.
1. whether or not the work unit and newsgathering and editing personnel have problems such as asking for money, goods, etc. from newsgathering and reporting counterparts;
2. Whether or not the work unit and newsgathering and editing personnel have problems such as accepting cash gifts, value vouchers, etc., from gathering and reporting counterparts or public relations companies;
3. Whether or not the work unit and news journalists establish or participate in cultural dissemination-type, advertising-type and public relations-type companies, whether or not they hold concurrent posts with remuneration in the above companies or social intermediary organs.;
4. Whether or not the work unit has problems of carrying advertising in the form of news;
5. Whether or not the work unit has problems of charges fees from newsgathering and reporting counterparts in order to carry positive news reports or to not expose negative news;
6. Whether or not the problem of news reporting and commercial activities not being separated exists, whether or not it is completely achieved that gathering and editing personnel are separate from business personnel, work is separated and departments are separated;
7. whether or not the work unit and gathering and editing personnel participate in commercials, distribution and other commercial activities.
All newspaper and periodical publishing work units must, on the basis of self-examination and self-rectification, inspect and complete reporting and complaints acceptance, verification, handling, feedback and other procedures and mechanisms. The list of names and functions of all persons having news journalists credentials must be permanently displayed on websites, reporting telephone numbers published in newspapers and periodicals, special departments and personnel must be arranged to deal with reports and complaints from the masses, and the results if investigation and punishment timely published.
IV, The materials and reports of the special campaign
1. Newspaper and periodical publishing work units must timely launch self-examination and self-rectification according to this Notice and corresponding regulations, and determinedly put an end to paid-for news and “paid-for non-news”. If that work unit has newsgathering and editing personnel receiving criminal punishments or punishment from administrative press and publications department, or where there are people that should be limited in their engaging in newsgathering and editing work because of violating corresponding laws and regulations, the situation of the party concerned must be described according to the “Newsgathering and Editing Personnel Bad Professional Activity Record and Registration Rules issued by the General Administration of Press and Publications, and this must be reported to the local administrative press and publications department for handling according to the law.
2. Central newspaper and periodical controlling work units must timely organize and deploy their subordinate newspapers and periodicals to strengthen internal management, determinedly curb subordinate newspaper and periodical publishing work units and news journalists producing paid-for news, “paid-for non-news”, and report the situation of organizing and launching work before 25 August 2012 to the General Administration of Press and Publications Newspaper and Periodical Department, contact person: Li Wei, telephone: 010-83138673, fax: 010-83138275.
3. All provincial (regional, municipal) administrative press and publications departments must timely summarize the situation of launching the special campaign, and report the summary before 25 August 2012 to the General Administration of Press and Publications Newspaper and Periodical Department, contact person: Li Wei, telephone: 010-83138673, fax: 010-83138275; all provincial “Sweeping Pornography and Striking Illegality” offices must timely report the work situation of handled cases and launching corresponding focus work to the Nationwide “Sweeping Pornography and Striking Illegality” Work Small Group Office, contact person: reporting centre, telephone: 010-65212870,010-65212787
It is hereby notified.
General Administration of Press and Publications
Nationwide “Sweeping Pornography and Striking Illegality” Work Small Group Office
Central Discipline Inspection Committee Examination Organization inside the General Administration of Press and Publications
18 April 2012