Media urged to learn from fabrication scandal
Updated: 2013-11-02 08:51
BEIJING - The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television on Friday called on all media organizations and reporters to learn the lesson from a recent fabrication scandal.
Chen Yongzhou, who was a reporter for Guangzhou-based daily newspaper New Express, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly causing damage to commercial reputation, days after he confessed to fabricating a series of reports targeting a listed company.
Chen's case had a very bad influence and severely damaged the credibility of the media and the image of journalists, said a statement from the administration.
All media organizations should take it as a warning, the statement said, adding that they should improve their internal management and regulation on reporting and editing.
"We hope that reporters across the country, taking the lesson from Chen, can abide by laws, uphold professional ethics and willingly safeguard the image of journalists," the statement said.
On Thursday, the Guangdong Provincial Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television revoked Chen's press card and ordered the newspaper to carry out full rectification.
The administration supported the provincial department's decision, saying that it was a necessary move within the department's legal duty to maintain the order of news reporting.
On Friday, the head and a vice president of the New Express were removed from their posts.
The administration has asked its local branches to step up efforts against fabrication, paid news and blackmailing, according to the statement.
The administration also invited the public to report such malpractice through its tip-off line.
Earlier on September 9, Zoomlion, a large engineering company in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan province, reported to local police that Chen had fabricated facts and defamed the company in a series of reports since 2012, which damaged its commercial reputation and caused severe losses.
Police in Changsha launched an official investigation on September 16 and detained Chen in Guangzhou on October 18 after uncovering a large amount of related evidence.
In video footage aired by China Central Television on Saturday, Chen said to police that he had released a series of unverified and false reports against Zoomlion at the request of others and for money and fame.