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China 26 August 2008

21-point directive to Chinese media proves coverage of games was biased and politicised

A 21-point directive which the Propaganda Department sent to the Chinese media prior to the Olympic Games shows the degree to which their coverage of the games was “biased and politicised,” Reporters Without Borders said today. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post first reported the existence of the directive more than two weeks ago. Now a Chinese blogger has posted what is said to be the text of the directive online.

“It is not at all surprising that the Communist Party’s censorship agency banned coverage of demonstrations by pro-Tibetan groups or the existence of designated protest areas in Beijing but the instructions regarding food security and the Chinese team’s results are astounding,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call on the International Olympic Committee to investigate this censorship directive, which is both a violation of the commitments given in 2001 and yet another infringement of the free flow of news in China.”

Because of its timing, most of the subjects mentioned in the directive concern the Olympic Games. The Communist Party, the organiser of the games, was clearly afraid that they might be disrupted by sports, political or international news. So much so, that it even banned the media from criticising the Chinese Olympic team’s selection process (point 21).

Security is a major concern, with the party asking Chinese journalists to stick to the official version in the event that foreigners are involved in any emergency (point 17). The media are also asked to be “positive” in their coverage of the security measures adopted during the games (point 19).

As regards international affairs, the directive strongly advises the media to limit coverage of such current thorny issues as Burma, Darfur and North Korea (point 13). As is customary, the Propaganda Department urges the media to use the dispatches of the official news agency Xinhua when tackling any sensitive subject.

The directive also forbids the media to mention food security problems, the unblocking of dozens of websites, including the Reporters Without Borders site, on 1 August (point 2) and Chinese businessman Lai Changxing, who fled to Canada in 1999 to escape corruption charges (point 11). Any criticism of the 8 August opening ceremony is also forbidden (point 8), although the Chinese Internet was abuzz with comments of all kinds about the ceremony (point 10).

21点中文版

1、本次广电直播不延时,如遇现场突出情况,无新闻宣传协调小组通知,所有媒体不得报道;如需报道,会有正式通知

2、从8月1日,对所有境外注册的境外网站,全面解封不得报道,也不得转载、链接。

3、慎重把握民族、宗教问题报道,对本会提供的宗教服务,境内一般不报。

4、对外国政要观看开幕式,不炒作,对座次不报道,不评论,对私生活不报道

5、要体现平等原则,各族运动员一律平等,不得出现白人、黑人运动员称呼;正式直播时对台可称“中华台北”平时亦可称“来自宝岛台湾的......”如出现台独......按第1条处理,

6、对海外华人来京,不简单归结为“爱国热情”,以免对其造成被动,如:栾菊杰、郎平

7、藏 独、东 突不报,对反恐不炒作

8、矿泉水致癌等食品安全一律不报

9、对北京3个专供示威公园一事,一律不采访,不报道

10、2、5的彩排不炒作,不报细节,对8号的只能说好,不能说“NO”

11、不炒赖昌星问题

12、不报非法入境人员,不报在华外国人事件

13、有关国际问题的报道,如朝核按统一口径;中东客观、低调;苏丹达尔福尔等不炒作;不炒联合国有关改革;慎重古巴问题;如出现突发事件,要报外交部

14、涉及近邻领土纠纷,不炒作;有关独岛不表明立场、不评论;缅甸问题淡化,不炒作

15、对中国和一些国家双边关系,地方不采访,不转网络稿,只用新华社稿件,尤其是多哈回合谈判、美大选、中伊合作、中澳合作、中与津巴布韦合作、中与巴拉圭合作等有关热点问题;

16、慎报奥运电视收视率情况,只能用境内权威机构发布的情况,如出现下降,不炒作;

17、境外游客发生意外,要按统一口径报道;没有要求则不报;

18、对首都地铁可能发生的事故,要统一报道口径

19、对安保措施,正面引导

20、股市报道要谨慎

21、妥善处理中国代表团的报道

A、运动员的选拔问题不说三道四,不反思

B、不炒金牌;不预测金牌数,不将成绩作为唯一参赛指标,不炒运动员的奖励

C、正确对待运动员的文明礼仪,理解个别人的不当表现,不炒作

D、加大反兴奋剂的宣传力度,突出立场,措施、成就

E、正确宣传对运动员的保障工作,宣传国家社会共同努力、尽最大可能解决其退役后的安置问题,对个别情况不炒作,不放大;

F、冷静分析我运动员的参赛情况,对可能出现的金牌排名变化情况,要客观,适当报道

G、凡涉及中国代表团的新闻,要遵守宣传口径,不随意报道,发表不同意见




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
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24 April - China
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25 March - China
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in the annual report
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China - Annual report 2006

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16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
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