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China clamps down on paid-for news

(Xinhua)

09:11, October 18, 2012

BEIJING - China on Wednesday launched a nationwide crackdown on paid-for news and extortion with the pretext of media supervision, according to an official statement.

The campaign lasting till the end of 2012 will also target such acts as demanding sponsorship and advertising on the pretext of publicizing the 18th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which will be held early next month, the statement said.

It was issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), the National Working Group on Eliminating Pornography and Illegal Publications and the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Previous crackdowns have discovered problems like press cards being issued to individuals in charge of media operation instead of news coverage, and websites of publications being contracted to advertisement or public relations companies. These individuals and companies produced paid-for news in the name of media organizations, the statement said.

A GAPP official said press credentials will be revoked in the cases of media organizations and news bureaus violating laws and regulations, and called for the behavior of newspaper staff to be regulated.

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