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i don't know what are the relations among vulgarity, bad taste, unethical reporting and history of Chinese Communist Party journalism and the Marxist view of news. Reporters all over the world should follow media ethnics principles, no matter whether s/he lives in a socialist country or a capitalist country.|
south china morning post
The mainland's top print media censor is to introduce a new qualification exam for aspiring journalists this year in a push to tighten up on control of media outlets.
Li Dongdong , deputy director at the General Administration of Press and Publication, said yesterday that the new regime would be similar to the qualification exam for civil service jobs, and prospective journalists would have to sit the exam before they could apply for a news-related job.
"No matter what your field of study, if you are not taught about the history of Chinese Communist Party journalism, the Marxist view of news and media ethics, you cannot pass the tests," she added. The new qualification regime will make knowledge of Communist Party lines on news reporting and Marxist thoughts on journalism prerequisites for a qualified reporter.
Official statistics show that there are 1,943 newspapers and 9,860 magazines on the mainland that employ a million people, 230,000 of whom are editors and frontline reporters who need to obtain accreditation.
Li said the new accreditation regime was being introduced in the wake of heightened public discontent over what she called vulgarity, bad taste and unethical news reporting by mainland media. Beijing TV reporter Zi Beijia was sentenced to a year in jail in 2007 for putting together a hoax investigative report about cardboard-stuffed steamed buns being sold in Beijing.
Beijing TV quickly claimed that Zi was not an accredited reporter, to distance itself from the scandal. However the hoax, along with other irregularities, has triggered a national outcry over the lack of ethics of mainland journalists.
Farmer's Daily reporter Li Junqi was sentenced to 16 years in prison late last year after he was found to have accepted 200,000 yuan (HK$227,000) on behalf of the paper for promising to help cover up a mining accident in August 2008.
Hong Kong Baptist University journalism professor Huang Yu said the qualification exams had much more to do with official concerns over dissent than the government's desire to eradicate unprofessionalism and misconduct.
Huang said a case in point was the government's speed in meting out punishment for some senior newspaper editors who published a joint editorial calling for reform of the controversial hukou household-registration system.
Li Dongdong said all newspaper directors and chief editors would have to undergo separate training, and her agency planned to train all of them within three or four years.
Without directly referring to the saga surrounding the joint editorial, she said that senior newspaper and magazine editors should have the necessary judgment to tell what was right or wrong.
"If they don't have the judgment, that means they have yet to develop the basic political acumen to take charge," Li said. "So we should strengthen education, strengthen political education and education about control of the overall situation." The Communist Party has tightened media control, especially control over the internet, over the past year.