Last month CMP wrote about an official bulletin from state media minders detailing four news extortion cases in China [article here]. On May 25, nine days after the official statement, China Industry and Commerce News, a newspaper not implicated in the above bulletin and published by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, announced it would introduce new internal measures to avoid violations of conduct. While the phenomenon of news extortion (and other violations of journalistic ethics) are the product of endemic institutional problems, the supposition in the release is that they can be dealt with by ratcheting up propaganda training for news workers. It provides a taste of how Chinese leaders are in the habit of using hackneyed ideologies to deal with very new problems in the media brought on by rapid commercialization under an autocratic system:
In order to carry out the spirit of the “Provision on Cadre Education Work (draft)” (干部教育工作条例), improve the political behavior and performance of our whole system of news and publicity professionals (新闻宣传工作人员) and raise the quality of publicity reports at China Industry and Commerce News … the paper has decided from 2006 forward to hold training systems for our entire network of correspondents once every five years, endeavoring to build a troupe [of journalists] whose quality and scope are suited to the publicity needs of commerce administration [in China] — whose politics is strong [ie. in line with the Party], whose business dealings are clear [ie. uncorrupt], whose [working] style is upright
Training for 2006 will be as follows:
Guiding ideology:
[Upholding a stream of Party policies, including Deng Xiaoping Theory, etc. in accord with China Industry and Commerce News’ own “Key Points for Commercial Administrative Management News Publicity Work 2006]

Training content:
First is to strengthen training in political theory. We will firmly use Deng Xiaoping Theory and the “Three Represents” [of former President Jiang Zemin], earnestly studying the spirit of 16th Party Congress … firmly grasping correct guidance of public opinion, erecting Socialist Honor and Disgrace Theory [SEE “Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces”], conscious of safeguarding news principles [i.e. self-censorship along Party lines] and professional ethics, raising the overall political-theoretical accomplishments of our correspondents

[Posted by David Bandurski, June 9, 2006, 12:27pm]

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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