Top media officials arrested for bribery

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 July, 2007, 12:00am

Nearly a dozen senior officials of Panyu district's radio and television departments have been arrested on suspicion of corruption and accepting bribes worth several million yuan, mainland media reported.

The Panyu TV Station's director, identified only as 'Fang', his deputy 'Guo' and nine other senior officials were suspected of conspiring on 11 counts of corrupt activity, including offering and taking more than 7 million yuan in bribes, New Express reported yesterday.

The senior officials included former heads of the Panyu Radio and Television Bureau.

The Panyu procuratorate and the district party committee's commission for discipline inspection uncovered the alleged misconduct after receiving reports in April.

The Guangzhou procuratorate, Panyu news office and district television station said the cases were under investigation and declined to give further details, including the full names of the suspects.

However, according to the television station's website, its director was Fang Weigang and its deputy Guo Zhaoquan.

A Beijing-based media analyst said corruption was widespread in the mainland media and was seldom reported.

He said all that local media outlets cared about was satisfying their superiors and using their power to make money.

'Many senior media officials sell time on television or newspaper space privately to friendly firms,' the analyst said.

'Sometimes, you can't even tell the advertisements from the reports,' he added.

Media outlets are controlled by the propaganda departments in their areas and all media heads are appointed by those departments.

'So, only the superiors can instruct the media. The public can't supervise it at all,' the analyst said.