The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges China’s
Central Propaganda Department and Central Government to investigate the manner
in which provincial governments are overriding constitutionally guaranteed
rules about media access and rights in reporting on issues of public interest.
25, the deputy editor of the Nanning-based
Nanguo Morning Post, Liu Yuan, 35, was reportedly forced to resign after reporting on
the murder of a teenage boy on August 4.
editor at a sister paper, Modern Life Daily, received a suspension order from the newspaper management,
reportedly under pressure from Guanxi Province’s propaganda department, in relation to reporting on the same case.
propaganda department subsequently issued an order restricting further
reporting of the case, which had
generated widespread media interest,
including at the state-owned Xinhua News Agency.
journalist told the IFJ that provincial personnel had banned reporting on the
murder for fear of fuelling public anger,
after media reporting on a separate suspicious death in Hubei Province in June revealed police had not
properly investigated the case.
terrified the case would agitate the public to protest against the Government,” the journalist said.
The BBC meanwhile
reported on August 25 a similar intervention by provincial officials in Shaanxi Province who sought to prevent foreign
and local journalists reporting on lead poisoning among children at a village near
a metal-smelting plant.
reported that officials from the province’s Baoji local government refused journalists
access to the village despite the journalists having obtained permission from
the Foreign Ministry. He said local residents told him they had been warned not
to speak to the media, according to
instructions and regulations between China’s central and provincial
governments are impeding the ability of local and foreign journalists to report
on issues of public interest,” IFJ
General Secretary Aidan White said.
and respect for the role of the media at all levels of government is imperative
to achieve its stated commitment to improve freedoms of expression and
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide