The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses concerns about the increasing number of Communist Party of China members who are employed by media organisations.
According to a report in the Ming Pao Daily, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, there is an increasingly number of media workers who are joining the Communist Party of China. At Tencent more than 7,000 of its more than 38,000 staff are members of the Communist Party. Of the employees, who are Communist Party members, 60% are technicians in the company. While 128 staff in middle to senior management are also members of the Party. In recent years, Tencent has established several Communist Party committees within its offices, including at the headquarters in Shanzhen, as well as branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. NanFang magazine, which is owned by NanFang Media Group and known for its working relationship with the Guangdong Propaganda Department, reported that 11 staff members, with key positions within the digital department and company development are also members of the Communist Party.
Baidu, a popular Mainland search engine, reportedly employs more than 900 Communist Party members, with the majority of them working in the digital department.
A journalist told the IFJ: “It is no surprise, honestly, the Communist Party has been encouraging staff at Tencent to join the party for a long while. They worked quite openly. I saw several invitation cards on desks a few years back. Currently many people are really obedient of the ruling party.”
The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “We respect the people’s right to freedom of assembly; however neutrality is an important component of journalism. Media workers must work to serve the public not the authorities, and ensure that all reporting is based on the truth and facts.”
Since Xi Jinping became the President and the Secretary of the Communist Party, he has repeatedly emphasised the rule that officials must obey the Party, yet has failed to distinguish between the government the political party as two separate entities.
We urge all media workers to remain vigilant and firm in the principles of press freedom and remain neutral in their work.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries
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