Agam's Gecko
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Ministry of Information
"Carry out the struggle of denouncing Lin Biao and Confucius to the end." 1974
Photo: CCP

nable to control the international media either through official restrictions or thug-like behavior, the CCP remains committed to controlling the domestic narrative of the Olympic Games as it is told by its own intimidated national press. Nothing must be left to chance, as Australia's Sydney Morning Herald reports on a new edict issued to the Chinese media.
A stunningly frank 21-point plan from the propaganda bureau was issued to editors and journalists and orders them to ignore hot international topics and any issues that may reflect negatively on the Olympic Games.
A translation of this directive from the state propaganda unit was obtained by SMH. The reference to "cancer-causing mineral water" has already raised some eyebrows.
1. The telecast of sports events will be live [but] in case of emergencies, no print is allowed to report on it.

2. From August 1, most of the previously accessible overseas websites will be unblocked. No coverage is allowed on this development. There's also no need to use stories published overseas on this matter and [website] operators should not provide any superlinks on their pages.

3. Be careful with religious and ethnic subjects.

4. Don't make fuss about foreign leaders at the opening ceremony, especially in relation to seat arrangements or their private lives.

5. We have to put special emphasis on ethnic equality. Any perceived racist terms as "black athlete" or "white athlete" is not allowed. During the official telecast, we can refer to Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei". In ordinary times, refer to Taiwanese athletes as "those from the precious island Taiwan....." In case of any pro Taiwan-independence related incident inside the venue, you shall follow restrictions listed in item 1.

6. For those ethnic Chinese coaches and athletes who come back to Beijing to compete on behalf of other countries, don't play up their "patriotism" since that could backfire with their adopted countries.

7. As for the Pro-Tibetan independence and East Turkistan movements, no coverage is allowed. There's also no need to make fuss about our anti-terrorism efforts.

8. All food saftey issues, such as cancer-causing mineral water, is off-limits.

9. In regard to the three protest parks, no interviews and coverage is allowed.

10. No fuss about the rehearsals on August 2,5. No negative comments about the opening ceremony.

11.No mention of the Lai Changxing case.

12.No mention of those who illegally enter China.

13.On international matters, follow the official line. For instance, follow the official propaganda line on the North Korean nuclear issue; be objective when it comes to the Middle East issue and play it down as much as possible; no fuss about the Darfur question; No fuss about UN reform; be careful with Cuba. If any emergency occurs, please report to the foreign ministry.

14. If anything related to territorial dispute happens, make no fuss about it. Play down the Myanmar issue; play down the Takeshima island dispute.

15. Regarding diplomatic ties between China and certain nations, don't do interviews on your own and don't use online stories. Instead, adopt Xinhua stories only. Particularly on the Doha round negotiation, US elections, China-Iran co-operation, China-Aussie co-operation, China-Zimbabwe co-operation, China-Paraguay co-operation.

16.Be very careful with TV ratings, only use domestic body's figures. Play it down when rating goes down.

17. In case of an emergency involving foreign tourists, please follow the official line. If there's no official line, stay away from it.

18. Re possible subway accidents in the capital, please follow the official line.

19.Be positive on security measures.

20. Be very careful with stock market coverage during the Games.

21.Properly handle coverage of the Chinese sports delegation:
A. don't criticise the selection process

B. don't overhype gold medals; don't issue predictions on gold medal numbers; don't make fuss about cash rewards for athletes.

C. don't make a fuss about isolated misconducts by athletes.

D. enforce the publicity of our anti-doping measures.

E. put emphasis on government efforts to secure the retirement life of atheletes.

F. keep a cool head on the Chinese performance. Be prepared for possible fluctations in the medal race.

G. refrain from publishing opinion pieces at odds with the official propangada line of the Chinese delegation.
Neither the International Olympic Committee nor the "Ministry of Industry and Information Technology" were willing to make any comment on the new press restrictions.


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