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Government directive restricts media reporting in China

June 30, 2015

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses strong concern for a directive issued by China’s media regulator on June 19, restricting reporting about China’s Stock Exchange.

According to the BCC, the directive was issued by the State Administrative Press Publication Radio Film and Television (SAPPRFT) demanding all media to limit coverage of the stock exchange to prevent fluctuations in the market. The directive, which included Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television said that reports must be balanced, objective and rational to guide the market, however that all reports are strictly required to use information provided by the local authority.

The directive said that reports could no longer include commentary, expert interviews, live broadcasts, in-depth explanation, speculation or evaluation of the stock market. Specific language was also banned including, ‘drastic drop’, ‘drastic increase’ and other ‘sensational words’.

Following the directive, on June 27, mainland media outlets downplayed news by of a cut to the reserve ratio by China’s Central Bank, and reduction to benchmark interest rates.

The IFJ Asia-Pacific said: “Information should not be withheld from the public, particularly that relating to the business sector. While the media should maintain objectivity, reporting should not be confined the only the information provided by the Chinese government.”

We urge Chinese authorities to stop interfering with the media industry and call on Chinese media to uphold their code of ethics to remain objective and rational when exercising their reportage duties.

For more information contact:
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Phone: +61 2 9333 0946

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