China's media watchdog renews call for public supervision of news reporting

20:28, December 31, 2010      

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China's media watchdog Friday renewed its call for the public to report cases of false or misleading news, advising people to make use of the government's three hotlines.

The three hotlines are run by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, General Administration of Press and Publication, and All-China Journalists Association.

The three organizations issued a news release Friday -- with the hotline numbers included in it -- to promote public awareness of the issue.

The news release reads "once fabrication is verified, harsh punishments will be handed out to those reporters and officials responsible."

China's press watchdogs have been keeping a close eye on false reporting. On Oct. 28, The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) criticized six media houses for falsely reporting news since the beginning of this year,

In one instance, Gansu Daily, an important local newspaper in northwestern province of Gansu, falsely reported in July this year that Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, would become the fifth municipality directly under the central government. This false information affected the capital market, causing drastic fluctuations of Shaanxi related stocks.

Those offending reporters and organizations had corrected their stories and received punishments, including making public apologizes or even resigning from their posts. Some senior officials of media houses were ordered to make formal admissions of their errors and were fined.

Source: Xinhua
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