Reports of Forced Closure of Investigative Magazine in China

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by reports that Great Wall Monthly, an investigative news magazine in China, has apparently been shut down without an official explanation.


According to an open letter published by the magazine’s editorial team on September 28, the magazine’s editorial and marketing teams were forced to leave the publication due to “reasons known to all.” The monthly magazine failed to publish an October edition on the 15th as scheduled after the dismissal of these staff. It is alleged that the magazine’s changes are a direct result of pressure from Chinese authorities.


Great Wall Monthly focused on investigative news reporting, and published stories on a number of sensitive issues in recent months. The magazine’s August issue contained criticism of the Chinese Government’s failure to conclusively implement its Code of Access to Information. Other issues included an in-depth investigative report into the misuse of psychiatric care to detain petitioners and allegations of misuse of donations by Red Cross China.


According to a Radio Free Asia report, Beijing police interrogated the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Zhu Shunzhong in August without due cause. During this time it is alleged that representatives of the Chinese Government first threatened to close down the magazine.


“The environment for investigative news journalism in China is becoming more and more threatening,” the IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“Any negative reporting of government affairs risks censorship, and as in the case of Great Wall Monthly, the forced closure of the publication.”


In August, Chen Zhong, the president of Nan Feng Chuang (NFC) magazine, was dismissed for being "unable to correctly censor the magazine's articles and for taking things in the wrong political direction."


In September, two prominent Beijing-based national newspapers were transferred to the authority of the Propaganda Department of Beijing.  Both newspapers are now restricted from reporting on news events outside the Beijing region.


The IFJ urges the Chinese authorities to respect press freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution, and allow journalists to independently investigate and report the news.


The IFJ also urges the All-China Journalists’ Association to investigate the alleged interference with the rights of journalists, and hold the Chinese Government accountable for any possible breaches of those rights.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries


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