The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is pleased the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) in China acknowledge that the government will not allow the creation of media “blacklists” by government departments or institutions.
The move follows the IFJ expressing concerns about statements made by China Health Education Centre director and spokesperson of the media and promotion office Mao Qunan, who said on June 13 that the Ministry of Health (MOH) would prepare a list to curb certain journalists and media workers from “polluting the communications environment”.
In a June 27 story titled “Establishment of so-called reporters blacklist by press information department not allowed”, state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported that a GAPP official stated that no law or regulation allows any organisation or individual to harass or interrupt media personnel when they are exercising their legal rights.
GAPP, which is charged with monitoring all Mainland journalists and upholding the oversight role of the media, also said that in the case of incorrect media reports, there should not be a “scolding attitude” towards the press from government departments, the Xinhua report said.
“The relevant department should disseminate accurate and timely information…it should not casually impose any barricades to media nor establish a so-called ‘reporters blacklist’ to curb media rights,” the GAPP official said.
The IFJ issued an alert June 20 after Mao endorsed a blacklist of journalists and media workers on June 13 at a food safety forum. Focus Taiwan news agency reported on June 15 that Mao said: “We plan to increase our efforts to create that list as quickly as possible. With the list, we will be able to trace who first started a widely spread rumour.”
“The IFJ is pleased to see that GAPP is prepared to publicly endorse the watchdog role of journalists in China,” the IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“No law or regulation exists in China that allows any government department or institution to attempt to curb media rights, a matter now acknowledged by China’s authorities.”
The IFJ urges all journalists in Mainland China to file a report with GAPP if they feel their legal rights are being undermined.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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