The Chinese government recently released a notice kindly reminding local journalists that they aren’t allowed to work for foreign news agencies, the New York Times reported, citing a notice issued on June 30 by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television warning Chinese journalists not to give away any information gathered during their work to foreign media or domestic news groups where they aren’t employed.
The notice “re-emphasizes that they are not permitted to write for foreign news agencies,” said the Times.
The directive also requires all media organizations to have their employees sign nondisclosure agreements to safeguard information obtained on the job, especially state secrets.
Chinese journalists sometimes resort to using their personal online accounts to release information that cannot be published in their own highly censored state media, or they pass the information on to foreign journalists. But the government of President Xi Jinping has been intensifying its campaign to keep these journalists in line.
Thus would explain the crackdown in recent months on reporters in China, including veteran journalist Gao Yu, who was detained last May over charges of leaking “state secrets” to foreign media in Beijing.
The directive required all media organizations to have their employees sign nondisclosure agreements to protect information obtained on the job, especially said state secrets. Journalists who violate the rules might not only have their reporting licenses revoked, but may also “be handed over to judicial authorities,” Xinhua quoted an unnamed SARFT official as saying.
The development follows a similar notice issued by SARFT last year that banned media work units in China from quoting “unauthorized news” from foreign media or foreign outlets.
By Aliaume Leroy