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



“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



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