IFJ Dismayed at New Restrictions on Reporting China's Health Crisis

 

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is dismayed to learn of further orders by China’s Central Propaganda

Department against reporting on the tainted milk scandal which has swept China

and the world in the past month.

 

The IFJ learned that on October 10 the

Central Propaganda Department ordered media not to report on a lawsuit filed in

Yunnan province in early October against the General Administration of Quality

Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ), by parents of a baby who reportedly

developed kidney stones after consuming tainted milk.

 

The IFJ was told that the Propaganda

Department immediately ordered all media not to report the case after several newspapers

in Yunnan

reported on the lawsuit.

 

The new restrictions come after the

department earlier ordered journalists from at least four newspapers, including

Southern Metropolis Daily, to leave Shijiazhuang, Hebei

province, where milk products company Sanlu is based.

 

The department also issued earlier commands

that only information obtained from official government sources such as Xinhua

News Agency and China Daily could

bepublished, and orders insisting on positive reporting of the

Government’s handling of the crisis

 

“The tainted milk scandal is a

matter of grave concern about public health for people in China and around the world, and

journalists must be allowed to report on the crisis freely and fairly,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

 

“A free media is crucial to investigating

scandals of this kind, and resolving them in the public interest. China

is doing the world a disservice by restricting reporting on the issue.”

 

The IFJ urges China to withdraw the Central Propaganda

Department’s orders and to allow free reporting on the issue of contaminated

milk products.

 

For more information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide