Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on China’s
General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) authority to relax its restrictions
on accreditation cards for journalists in China.
GAPP announced on November 7 that only journalists carrying
GAPP cards will be considered legitimate professionals. Those who only have press
cards issued by media houses will be treated as “illegal”.
The IFJ has received complaints from journalists worried
that the restriction will severely limit their ability to continue their work
in cases where their government-approved press cards have been cancelled or
forfeited as a result of publishing material that displeases authorities.
The move follows an announcement by China’s
Government in October that rules allowing freer reporting by foreign
journalists ahead of the Olympic Games would remain in place. The rules, which
had been due to expire on October 17, mean foreign reporters are permitted to
travel where they wish without prior permission and to interview anyone who is
willing to talk to them.
“The GAPP policy on press cards may be regarded as a means
to control journalists and to assist authorities in limiting the work of those
who report in a manner that does not meet with government approval,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
authorities are strongly encouraged to take the same approach to local
journalists as they do for foreign journalists, and to guarantee that the press
card system is not used to restrict reporting by local media personnel.”
The IFJ calls on China’s authorities to reconsider the GAPP restrictions
in the interests of press freedom and the public’s right to information
reflecting diverse sources and views.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide