Shanghai has shut six news bureaus of domestic media organisations in a campaign to 'clean up' the sector, a move which industry officials say is aimed at tightening control over publications. The city required more than 100 news bureaus set up by domestic media to re-register over the past few months following an order from the State Press and Publication Administration, the Wen Hui Daily said. An official of the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau said offices that were closed included specialist newspapers covering health and jewellery as well as Beijing's Zhonghua Times. However, he declined to name the others, saying the reasons for the closures were 'complicated'. Shanghai also required that five employees be sacked for problems with their professional qualifications. It was not clear which bureaus they belonged to. A total of 106 news bureaus complied with the re-registration order, five failed to register on time and two had not completed all of the procedures. Shanghai kept a tight grip over the city's media, exercising more control than cities like Guangzhou or Beijing where more daring newspapers had flourished, academics said. A reporter working in Shanghai for a Guangzhou newspaper said journalists had taken the campaign as a warning. 'We are trying to avoid breaking too many sensitive stories to tread the line here in Shanghai,' he said. Local authorities were trying to enforce rules that a single newspaper group must have only one bureau in the city for all its publications, which some organisations considered a heavy requirement, industry officials said. Shanghai had also asked for more information regarding operations than previous annual inspections in the past, they said. The government defended the move, saying it aimed to raise professional standards and stop illegal acts. The Wen Hui Daily said reporting activities must be within the scope set by the state and bureaus were banned from being involved in activities like circulation and advertising. Bureaus must control the number of journalists and have the required government approvals for setting up offices, it said. Mainland academics and journalists had expressed optimism over media reform after the new leadership took office and the brief loosening for reporting in the Sars epidemic, but many now said the changes had failed to materialise.