More Forced Closure Threats to Investigative Magazines in China


The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) is concerned by reports of the threatened closure of another investigative

magazine in China.


Journalists from Jinghua (titled This Week in English), a magazine affiliated with Jinghua Newspaper, report that all

investigative reporting has been ordered to stop after the publication was

transferred to the authority of People’s

Daily, one of the official media outlets of the Chinese Communist Party.


In September,

the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) transferred Jinghua Newspaper to the authority of

the Propaganda Department of Beijing and restricted it from reporting on news

events outside Beijing. Jinghua was assigned to the control of People’s Daily.


“Management told staff they could

either follow the new editorial line or leave,” a Jinghua journalist said.


“Although we are still uncertain

about our future, we strongly believe the editorial approach will continue to change.

We will become a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.”


Since September, at least five

journalists and editors have left

the magazine, reducing the number of editorial staff to approximately twenty

people. A meeting between management and staff, to discuss the future of the magazine’s editorial personnel, scheduled for November

9 was cancelled

by management due to a scheduling conflict.


The tightening of control over

publications such as Jinghua reflects

the new policies of the Central Authority of China. Calls for stricter media

monitoring have been made in a number of public speeches by senior officials

including President Hu Jintao and leaders of the Communist Party Central

Politburo Standing Committee, the Central Propaganda Department and the State

Internet Information Office.


Jinghua is the second investigative publication forced to close recently by Chinese authorities. In

October, Great Wall Magazine was shut

down due to its publication of a number of sensitive investigations, including

reports on the Chinese Government’s failure to conclusively implement its Code of

Access to Information and the misuse of psychiatric care to detain petitioners.


“This year has seen journalists in China face

their greatest challenges since the pre-Olympic clampdown in 2008,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“Heavy-handed editorial controls and

attacks on independent investigative reporting have led to pervasive self-censorship

and forced many experienced journalists out of the industry.”


The IFJ urges the editorial board of

People’s Daily to respect the

autonomy of Jinghua‘seditorial staff and

uphold the principles of press freedom.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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