IFJ urges China to explain crackdown on news sources

Media Release: China                                                    April 18, 2013    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned that China’s Department for the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has issued a notice to all media outlets and personnel forbidding them from quoting foreign, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau news agencies without prior censorship and approval.   The order says the media must guide public opinion and keep its reports “positive”. The IFJ Asia-Pacific Office says journalists are required by their professional ethics to report fairly and truthfully, with balance and honesty. “This is a worrying encroachment on the professional responsibilities of journalists by an arm of the state. The order does not explain how the new procedures will ensure proper, accurate reporting or why non-Mainland news sources would suddenly be considered unreliable.” The IFJ added: “The decision imposes further restraints on press freedom, impedes legitimate newsgathering and dissemination and is an attack the ethics of professional journalists.” The IFJ urges Cai Fuchao, director of the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, to clarify the uncertainties surrounding the order and to take steps to ensure the media can fulfil its legitimate role of reporting the news honestly and truthfully using a multitude of legitimate new sources rather than become a mouthpiece for propaganda.           For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131countries Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific