China Authorities Dismiss Media Blacklist Fears After International Outcry

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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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IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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