Press Accreditation Rules May Impede Independent Reporting in China

 

 

 

The International

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

said.

 

“China’s

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. 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide