China has banned domestic journalists from writing or contributing to foreign media outlets in an unofficial capacity or on freelance basis, Ming Pao daily reported Friday, citing a notice released by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio Film and Television.
Reporters are required to sign nondisclosure agreements with their employers, and prohibited from providing any acquired information to foreign media or domestic media where they are not employed.
The ban has triggered a backlash, the report said. A reporter, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying: “It’s the underground party style; the press is dead.”
“Journalists’ credentials will be revoked if they leak information,” an unnamed official with the media regulator told Xinhua on Wednesday. “The behavior of some media professionals has harmed the interests of the party and the country,” the official added, referring to the ruling Communist Party.
Meanwhile, the People’s Daily reported that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the country’s leading think tank, has sought to list political ideology in the appraisal indicators for the academy’s scholars, and implement a single-vote veto system.
In June, an anti-graft official warned that “ideological problems” have been uncovered at the CASS. The problems include using academic research as a disguise for other purposes, fabricating false theories using the internet, conducting illegal collusion during politically sensitive times and allowing peer-to-peer infiltration by foreign forces, he said.
The official asked staff and officials at all levels of the academy to “remain highly alert to politically sensitive issues, with no exceptions” and to “strengthen ideological construction”.
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