Upholding press freedom

Updated: 2014-05-17 07:32

(China Daily)

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Journalists' association defends country's progress and development and urges Western media to abandon their 'double standards'

The All-China Journalists Association said on Friday that accusations by Western journalist groups of press freedom violations in China are "irresponsible" and "do not accord with facts".

More open to foreign reporters

Responding to claims of increased restrictions on foreign media, the association said the Chinese mainland has been more open to overseas media in recent years, especially after regulations concerning foreign journalists and permanent offices of foreign news agencies were introduced in 2008.

"Nowadays, overseas reporters no longer need to file applications in advance for interviews. They only need the interviewee's approval," the association said. All government departments have designated spokespersons to communicate with reporters from both home and abroad on major issues in a timely manner.

News centers have been set up during major events such as national congresses of the Communist Party of China, annual parliamentary sessions, the Beijing Olympic Games and Shanghai World Expo to help foreign reporters.

"China will, as always, adhere to opening up, continue to welcome foreign journalists' news coverage and objective reporting on China, and facilitate their work," the association said.

Press freedom index baseless

The ACJA expressed strong dissatisfaction against China's bottom ranking in the annual so-called "press freedom index". "The so-called 'index' deviates seriously from the actual situation in China's news sector," the ACJA said. "Such practice, which is a sheer slander of China's press freedom, is extremely irresponsible, has obvious ideological bias, and neglects the actual situation of the development of China's news cause," it said.

China has developed a multimedia modern news communication system which includes newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, news agencies and networks since reform and opening up began more than 30 years ago. The public can access domestic and foreign information via the news outlets.

The government gradually set up and improved laws and regulations on news coverage and communication, such as encouraging media institutions to conduct interviews and supervision of public opinion in accordance with the law and safeguarding journalists' rights.

The ACJA issued a regulation in January this year, promising aid to journalists who die or are injured in the course of their work. "Without good policies and a relaxed social environment, China's news and communication industry could not have developed so fast and so well," it said.

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