Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

China launching fresh crackdown on media

August 16, 2007

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— China announced Wednesday that it would carry out a wide-ranging crackdown on "false news" and illegal publications ahead of the ruling Communist Party's most important meeting in five years.

The crackdown, to run through mid-October, appears aimed at ratcheting up the Communist Party's already tight media controls to prevent any disruptions that would marring the 17th Party Congress. The party tries to tightly control the media in China and is sensitive to any criticism of its grip on power or questions about its top leaders.

But China has also struggled with problems of manufactured news stories and people posing as journalists seeking payoffs to suppress bad news.

Earlier this week, a Beijing court sentenced a reporter to a year in jail for faking a television story about cardboard-filled meat buns - a story that drew widespread attention to the country's poor food safety record.

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