China to crack down on unlicensed reporters

Updated: 2013-01-04 17:42


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BEIJING - Press regulators will step up efforts to weed out unlicensed reporters in order to preserve the reputation of the country's news media.

Irregular practices by news bureaus, the issuance of press cards to unqualified reporters and journalists' attempts to blackmail others will also be targeted, said Liu Binjie, head of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), at a government meeting on the press industry held on Friday.

Authorities will work to eliminate illegal and deceptive advertisements, as well as paid-for news in news publications, Liu said.

Discipline among reporters should also be intensified, he said.

Authorities investigated 184 cases concerning unlicensed publications last year, confiscating 5 million copies of illegal publications in the process, the GAPP said in a statement.

The administration has told its officials to reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency, as well as asked leading officials to spend at least 60 days inspecting and researching grassroots areas each year, according to the statement.

The administration has also asked its officials to carefully deal with inquiries, complaints and petitions from the public.

Also on Friday, the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications released details concerning ten major cases that were handled by the office as part of a national crackdown on pornographic, pirated and unlicensed publications.

Two of the cases involved people who pretended to be journalists in order to extort "hush money" from their targets.

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