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China denies trying to ban unapproved critical media coverage

China denies trying to ban unapproved critical media coverage

9:08am EDT

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is not trying to ban reporters from publishing critical reports without prior approval, an official told state media on Thursday, insisting an order had been misinterpreted and its real goal was to stop journalists abusing their jobs.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued rules on Wednesday saying reporters could only publish critical stories if their employer had signed off on it, sparking accusations of censorship.

The rules come as the government intensifies a crackdown on freedom of expression, both online and in traditional media.

But Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the administration, told the official Xinhua news agency that the government was dedicated to protecting reporters’ rights.

“Some people misinterpreted our instruction as not allowing press criticism in general, but in fact, we have resolutely protected reporters’ lawful professional rights and positively support media supervision via public opinion,” Jiang said.

The order that reporters get their employers’ approval to conduct critical reporting is “in line with regular regulations and addresses the problem journalists abusing their positions for blackmail”, Jiang added.

The rules are part of a national campaign against crooked and fake reporters who demand hush money for burying negative stories, which often are untrue, Xinhua said.

“This behavior has severely violated the rights of ordinary people, damaged media organizations’ reputations and smeared the image of journalists,” Jiang said.

China adopted tough measures to crack down on online rumors last year, but critics say the campaign is simply a means to target criticism of the ruling Communist Party that has chilled political discourse.

China’s news media is heavily censored and media organizations need to obtain licenses from the government before publishing.

State media has been the key vehicle for party propaganda, but reforms over the past decade have allowed greater commercialization and some increase in editorial independence.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

 

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About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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