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Golden 4-Hour Window: Officials Want Media Response to “Lead Public Opinion”

On February 2, 2010, People’s Daily published an article on a current media rule, the “Golden 4-Hour,” for reporting an unexpected incident in China. “Golden 4-Hour” requires Chinese journalists to release an authoritative news report on a sudden incident within four hours so as to lead public opinion and quell the incident.

As for how to report an emergency, a considerable number of local leaders, such as Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo and Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng, have reached a consensus to “release a news report immediately but be wary about any causes or reasons” with follow-up reports on the government’s effort in terms of what has been done, what is being done, and what will be done. 

Source: People’s Daily, February 2, 2010