Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
China 9 February 2007

Plans to put the press on a penalty points’ system

Reporters Without Borders voiced dismay about a new scheme proposed by the Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Department to put newspapers on a penalty points’ system.

The new system, revealed today by a newspaper in Hong Kong, consolidates the bringing to heel of the media undertaken by President Hu Jintao in the name of a “harmonious society”.

“This project of a penalty points’ licence for the press could seem funny if it was not in fact another type of sanctions that will end in more suspensions and bans. We urge the government, particularly the prime minister Wen Jiabao, to oppose this plan,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong revealed on 9 February that a new system of sanctions had been presented to editors of state-run newspapers by the propaganda department. Each publication would start with 12 points, which could then be deducted for each “wrongdoing”.

A surveillance group made up of officials from the Propaganda Department and the General Administration of Press and Publications would be tasked with sanctioning offending media, according to the seriousness of the mistake. Once a media had lost all its points, its management would be punished in their turn.

2006 was marked by a series of measures designed to discipline editorial departments seen by the propaganda department as too liberal.

In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed