Notice concerning Strengthening the Management of Newsgathering and Editing Personnel’s Online Activities
In order to fully give rein to the positive function of the network and promote the shaping of a heathy news order, the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television has recently issued the “Notice concerning Strengthening the Management of Newsgathering and Editing Personnel’s Online Activities”, requiring a strengthening of management over newsgathering and editing personnel using network information, setting up individual microblogs and other network activities.
The “Notice” requires that newsgathering and editing personnel persists in the policies of unity, stability and enthusiasm, and giving first place to positive propaganda, vigorously use traditional media, news websites, blogs, microblogs and other carriers to disseminate mainstream information, guide society’s public opinion, consciously resist the infiltration and dissemination of harmful information, do not use and not report network information that has not been verified through authoritative channels, do not disseminate or republish online gossip or hearsay, or guessing-type information.
In the “Notice”, three “furthers” are mentioned, being further standardizing newsgathering and editing activities, further strengthening management over media and news websites, and further strengthening management over blogs and microblogs. Amongst those, in relation to further standardizing newsgathering and editing activities, the “Notice” requires the strict management of news work units’ newsgathering and editing ad activities and editorial screening workflows, prevention against creating false reports for the sake of one-sided pursuit of sensational effects, distribution numbers, listening or viewing rates. Without permission, no type of news work unit may use unauthorized news information products from foreign media or foreign websites.
Concerning further strengthening media and news website management, the “Notice” requires that news work units must strengthen management over news website content verification and gatekeeping, and the network activities of newsgathering and editing personnel, they must, according to the standards and workflows of traditional media news report publication, strictly verify the information disseminated by their subordinate news websites. It is prohibited to contract out, rent our or transfer website and website channel newsgathering and editing activities, it is prohibited for personnel without a news journalist card to gather news and publish articles under the name of websites or website channels. Without approval, news websites run by news work units may not publish unauthorized information provided by news informants, specially engaged writers, civil organizations, commercial organs, etc.
Concerning further strengthening blog and microblog management, the “Notice” requires that news work units establishing official microblogs must file this with their controlling work unit, and appoint specialist personnel to publish authoritative information, and timely delete harmful information. Newsgathering and editing personnel setting up professional microblogs must gain approval from their work unit, published microblog information may not violate laws, regulations and the management rules of the media to which they belong, they may not disseminate all sorts of information that has been gained through their professional activities without approval.
The “Notice” also contains clear provisions regarding strengthening and improving network news public opinion supervision, requiring that news work units incessantly strengthen and improve public opinion supervision. Newsgathering and editing personnel may not use public opinion supervision to coerce grass-roots work units and individuals to subscribe to newspapers or periodicals, insert advertising or provide support; they may not publish false information on websites, without verification and agreement by their news organ, they may not publish news information obtained through professional interviews on domestic or foreign websites.
Furthermore, the “Notice” points out that all localities’ administrative press and publications departments and all news media controlling and sponsoring departments must realistically implement localized management and hierarchical management responsibilities, and strengthen supervision over newsgathering and editing personnel and news activities of local media, subordinate media and local journalist stations, branch organs and local news website channels of Central media. Where newsgathering and editing personnel use the network as a platform to seek illegal gain and other activities, this must be firmly curbed, strictly investigated and prosecuted according to the law, and, in view of the circumstances, lead to temporary or lifelong prohibition to engage in newsgathering and editing work.