Press, legal communities appeal for protection of media rights

17:01, August 31, 2010      

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For his report about insider trading at the listed company Kan Specialties Material Co., Ltd. (SZ:002012), Qiu Ziming, a reporter at the Economic Observer, had a warrant on his head for “injuring the commercial reputation of a company" by Suichang Public Security Bureau of Lishui County of Zhejiang Province. A nationwide wanted circular was issued.

Upon investigation, Suichang's police found that Qiu Ziming kept releasing public reports aimed at Kan and thus recognized him as a suspect of injuring commercial reputation. However, after just 36 hours, this wanted circular was withdrawn, and Suichang's police sent a representative to Beijing to apologize to Qiu.

On June 28, Southern Urban News disclosed this news for the first time and stirred up the well-known "wanted reporter" event. Some media believe "Qiu Ziming" has become a hot keyword in online searches, and many people deem him as a representative fearless of a Chinese press before evil forces.

According to a report from Legal Daily on Aug. 30 because of several recent events stemming from media's critical reports, some people from press and legal institutions in Shanghai and Nanjing co-held the "Seminar on the Relationship Between Public Power and News & Interviewers Rights" recently. All experts attending the meeting appealed to protect journalists' right of interviews and report and they hoped that authorities should never crack down on journalists with criminal "investigations."

Ding Fazhang, Vice Chairman of Shanghai Journalist Association and Chairman of the Shanghai News Academy, said that the governments at all levels should encourage press to reflect problems and guide opinions.

Ding said governments should take into consideration numerous actual conditions reflected by journalists as references for making and implementing policies and give journalists legal reporting rights.

You Wei, a professor from the China University of Political Science and Law, said in this age when a great emphasis is put on governing the country by law, strictly speaking, public security authorities should handle the cases by law and use caution when intervening in news events.

Fu Minrong, director of Shanghai Xinwenhui law office, said the main reason for the obstruction of the media's reporting rights and journalists’ rights to conduct interviews was that local public power was kidnapped by local interested groups who have cracked down on critical reporters using criminal means.

Lv Yiran, editor-in-chief of the magazine News Reporters, said public authorities of all levels should protect legal rights and interests of media and journalists.

By Yan Meng, People's Daily Online


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