Chinese hacks face life ban for nicking rumours from web
Two sources minimum for each story ... or else
The Chinese government has issued new regulations for journalists that require them to provide two sources for everything they print.
The new rules, issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), are widely being interpreted as a move from the government to stop Chinese journalists publishing stories they source through the internet or social media.
State news agency Xinhua said the regulations were "aimed at increasing the credibility of Chinese news organisations" and that they helped hacks "remain impartial and guard against using rumours as sources for their reports".
The rules state that reporters must quote "at least two sources in critical reports" and they are banned from altering news photographs or video clips "in a way that distorts the authenticity of the material".
News outlets will have to apologise and publish corrections "if their reports are found to be untrue or inaccurate", Xinhua said.
Offenders could have their press card revoked for five years, or even be banned for life from their jobs if they "fabricate" stories that result in "serious consequences".
China has been stepping up its censorship on any speech that looks as if it is getting a bit free recently, particularly online where social media's speed has allowed a few stories to get into the media that the government didn't like.
Over the summer, the Asian superpower had real trouble keeping the lid on a protest at a chemical plant in Dalian. A storm had broken the dyke around the plant and residents, fearing chemicals could spill out, wanted the factory closed.
The government was doing its best to delete protest pictures from Weibo, the country's Twitter, as fast as they were posted but couldn't stay on top of the job because the pics had already been retweeted, or reWeiboed, before they could delete them.
Earlier this week, Chinese tech firms including Sina, owner of Weibo, agreed to "resolutely curb" any information deemed "harmful" to the state. ®
Perhaps HMG could make "Daily Mail Reporter" do the same.
Actually, the story as reported here in China was that the new law is to stop unofficial news reports spreading false stories and rumours.
The trigger was a story spread about a man murdering 10 tribal leaders in Northern China which spread across Weibo and other Chinese social networks, but proved to be a work of fiction.... at least according to the authorities.
The part about altering photos and videos was probably prompted by eagle-eyed viewers noticing the use of "Top Gun" footage in a report about Chinese military exercises last year, but what you have to remember is that the big news outlets are controlled almost entirely by the Party anyway, so even this is aimed mostly at the smaller, local papers that have less central government oversight (and tend to print stories the Party arent always happy about).
You know, for all the bad press about the Chinese government (and I will admit a lot of it is true), the locals still have a lot of freedoms that we do not enjoy.
I enjoy Tai Chi, but what are my chances of going to a park in the UK, swinging around my Tai Chi sword, and NOT being arrested/shot/tasered???
Been here 4 months and totally changed the way I look at China, so much of the news about the place in Western media is little better than Propaganda.
Not only rumours
This would also impact on a reporter running a story where their source was a whistle-blower.