China Bans Media From Quoting Foreign Reports, Freelancers

Created: 2013-04-18 14:10 EST

Category: China
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 China’s communist regime is imposing more restrictions on domestic media. On Tuesday, the state media regulator issued a new directive banning news agencies from using information provided by foreign media or foreign websites without permission. They’ve also been told not to carry news provided by freelancers, NGOs, and commercial organizations without prior verification.

 
 
The move is to, quote, “strengthen management” and stop the "spread of harmful information."
 
[Guang Yuan, Former People’s Daily Reporter] (male, Chinese) 
“There are two reasons for this. First the Communist Party has no control over foreign media, and the public can access a lot of information online. Second, it wants to control its own print media and website, demanding that they follow orders and central directives. Basically, it’s saying, don’t trust foreign media, just trust the government.”
 
The ban may heavily impact Chinese media, as many newspapers source their foreign news stories from news agencies like Reuters.
 
[Jia Yuanlian, Operator of War Veterans Advocacy Website] 
“It’s the age of the Internet. The public has a right to know. The media has the right to report. This is a two way street. Even in Mainland China, no one can block out information or the public’s right to information, unless the regime cuts off the internet. This will draw a big backlash I believe.”
 
Media watchdog, Reporters without Borders, has condemned the new rules as a quote, “draconian directive.” In a statement, the group says Chinese authorities have been targeting foreign media, particularly after revealing reports on Communist Party leaders’ fortunes.
 
 
The Bloomberg news agency website was blocked in June 2012 after it published a story on the fortune held by the family of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. More recently, email accounts of reporters from US-based media like the New York Times has have been hacked. Signals of Voice of America and BBC’s English shortwave radio broadcasts have also experienced jamming in China.