The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges authorities
in China to honour President Hu Jintao’s promise,
made at a Central Committee meeting of the Communist Party of China on October 9, 2008,
that China would work toward becoming an open
The IFJ has received several reports of orders issued by the
Central Propaganda Department to Mainland media to restrict reporting on
several significant recent news events in China.
A Mainland journalist,
who wishes to remain anonymous, told
the IFJ that journalists were told not to report on an incident where three
people set fire to a car at Wangfujing in Beijing
on February 25.
They were also reportedly ordered not to report on a mine
blast that claimed 74 lives in Shanxi Province on February 23,
and also not to report on protests in Beijing
regarding the accident.
“We can only use information from the state-owned Xinhua
News Agency,” the journalist said.
Some online journalists decided not to upload additional
information to what was provided by Xinhua News Agency. Those that attempted to
do so discovered they were unable to load information onto sites known to be
under close observation by the Beijing
authorities, the journalist told the
It is believed that restrictions are being enforced in an
effort to maintain social order ahead of the China National People’s Congress in
“The IFJ is dismayed by the continuing restrictions imposed
media by the Central Propaganda Department,”
IFJ General Secretary Aidan White
“The IFJ respectfully reminds President Hu Jintao of his speech
delivered to the Communist Party of China in the Great Hall on October 9 last
year, in which he said China was
determined to become an open society.
“Increasing reports and incidents involving restrictions on
reporting by mainland journalists suggest the spirit of President Hu’s promise
is not being followed.”
The IFJ strongly urges China’s authorities to uphold
official commitments to allow the media more freedom,
as promised before the 2008 Olympic Games.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide