Several senior executives at Beijing TV, one of the mainland's biggest regional television networks, have been censured or sacked over the airing of a bogus news report on sales of cardboard-filled steamed buns in the capital. Without naming the officials, Beijing Daily reported that the network's president, identified on its website as Liu Aiqin, was publicly reprimanded, and the editor-in-chief, Zhang Xiao , was given a warning. The newspaper also said two senior managers supervising news at the network's Life Channel had been sacked along with a producer. Sources at Beijing TV (BTV) said the two managers had been forced to resign over the scandal. The report, which originally aired on BTV on July 8, showed a seller of baozi, a popular breakfast food, softening shredded cardboard with an industrial chemical and fortifying the fake meat with a bit of fatty pork. The report was picked up by China Central Television and broadcast nationwide and worldwide. However, an investigation later found that the part-time reporter, Zi Beijia , had provided the ingredients to a migrant worker who was then recorded making the buns. BTV was forced to make an embarrassing apology and retraction on Thursday. The network also said Zi was in police custody facing possible criminal charges. Bogus news reporting is nothing new on the mainland. But the responses to the cardboard buns report from the authorities and the general public has been unusual as the government struggles to control the country's image while opening up to foreign journalists in the run-up to next year's Beijing Olympics. Li Changjiang , director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, denounced the news report for misleading consumers. He insisted that cardboard-filled steamed buns simply could not exist on the mainland. 'People with common sense would not take [the news] seriously as people can tell if buns were made with cardboard filling,' Mr Li said. The Publicity Department of the Communist Party, the top mainland propaganda agency, is expected to order all media outlets to conduct internal checks for potential fake news reporting. The story erupted as the country grapples with a string of food-safety breaches, ranging from toxic seafood and substandard bottled water to an antifreeze ingredient mixed into cough medicine shipped to Panama. The bun report quickly made headlines on the mainland and all over the world, drawing a strong outpouring of disgust from the public. But scepticism remains despite the official conclusion that the news report was false. Many internet users questioned the lack of details about the investigation. One internet posting said transparency in the further handling of the crisis would be crucial. 'Even if the news is fake, the key question is whether cardboard-filled buns have ever existed in Beijing,' it said.