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China: Media put on demerit points system

CHINA'S Communist Party propaganda department has launched a points-based penalty system to try to rein in the increasingly muck-raking print media, a Hong Kong newspaper reported today.

Media outlets will be allocated a dozen points that the propaganda department and the government media regulator can deduct one, three, six or all 12 at a time, the newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

It was not clear how the severity of a perceived infringement would be judged, but penalties would range from warnings and dismissals to closure of the publication, it said.

The Party has always exercised control over the media, and after some relaxation, it has been tightening in recent years. The propaganda officials regularly issue lists of banned topics or coverage guidelines for certain subjects.

Later this year the Party holds its five-yearly congress, at which leaders are reshuffled and policies are set.

"The new system is a clear message that the top leadership wants a peaceful social environment ahead of the 17th Party Congress and next year's Olympic games," the newspaper quoted a senior state media executive as saying.

The media point system was similar to China's driver license point system whereby deducted for moving violations.

Date posted: February 9, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 9