Censorship in China

Beijing bans entertainment news that promotes Western lifestyles and celebrities, or pokes fun at Chinese values

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 1:09pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 11:20pm

Beijing has forbidden reports of entertainment news that promote “Western lifestyles”, poke fun at traditional Chinese values and cultural classics, such as mythical heroes, or publish details of celebrities’ love affairs.

An official notice issued by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has ordered all news platforms, including radio, television, and new media, to ensure their reports about the world of entertainment and celebrities comply with the Communist Party’s ideologies and adopt a positive tone.

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Reports that focus on Western lifestyles, the lives of celebrities, and give details of personal private matters, including love affairs and family disputes, must be “firmly prevented”, the notice added.

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Stories that exaggerate details about peoples’ rise to overnight fame and fortune, and show off their wealth, or report how they achieved success by being selfish or using intrigue against others are also banned.

The entire news-gathering process needed to stick to what the authorities regarded as politically correct, Xinhua said.

Each section of the work flow at news organisations needed to be closely monitored and all employees must take full responsibility to ensure that they do not report anything that could be considered as inappropriate, Xinhua reported the notice as saying.

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News organisations must also set up an performance review mechanism that will monitor the idealogical orientation of their work to help “strengthen restrictions, promote the good and eliminate the bad”.

Those news organisation that are found to be violating the regulations will be punished.

Penalties could include public criticism, the suspension of programmes and even the revoking of the organisation’s production licence, the notice said.

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The announcement was made as the National People’s Congress Standing Committee is reviewing a draft law on the film industry to ensure that those who that work in it will strive for “excellence in both professional skills and moral integrity” while maintaining a positive public image.

Lawmakers began a second reading of the bill on Monday. The first draft appeared in October.

The move comes after the high-profile arrests of various celebrities for drugs and soliciting prostitutes, including Li Dai­mo, Zhang Mo and Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu star Jackie Chan.