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Outspoken Chinese media group under tighter censorship: Mingpao

2012/07/22 20:29:12

Taipei, July 22 (CNA) Self-censorship in China's outspoken Nafang Media Group is likely to become tighter ahead of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) this fall, Hong Kong's Mingpao reported Sunday.

Internal censorship has been extended from two of the Guangdong-based group's newspapers to two magazine and another of its newspapers since Yang Jian, former deputy head of Guangdong's propaganda department, took up the post of CPC secretary in the group, Mingpao quoted sources as saying.

Yang, who once worked at the state-owned Xinhua News Agency, was the first to take over as the "No. 1 hand" from outside the group, and since then the group has been refraining from reporting on about 13 issues, including demonstrations and information on independence efforts related to Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang, according to Mingpao.

The 13 areas are the focus of its self-censorship while other issues are listed as taboo, the report said, citing internal documents.

The measures suggest that the once oral prohibitions have been upgraded to standardized regulations, the report said. The group's executives have clearly stipulated that there should be no criticism of government policies in the publications' news reports or editorials, Mingpao said.

The group's publications had been known for being critical of the government, unlike most other media in the country.

All of the group's publications are under pressure, as it was asked to submit 17 "self-reflection" reports around June 4 on the 23rd anniversary of the Tienanmen Square Massacre, Mingpao said.

In addition, eight news stories ended up on the cutting floor in early July, the highest number in three years, when a civilian demonstration was held in Shifang, Sichuan Province, Mingpao said.

Instead, one of the Nanfang magazines highlighted China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft and submersible Jiaolong on its cover, which was unusual for the publication, the report noted.

(By Chai Szu-chia and Kendra Lin)
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