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The Beijing Olympics: Control News Sources, Step up Positive Reports and Eliminate Negative Reports

The following is a translation of widely spread article on Chinese language websites in August. Although the postings on China-based websites have now disappeared, uncensored overseas websites have preserved the posting. [1]

The following is a translation of widely spread article on Chinese language websites in August. Although the postings on China-based websites have now disappeared, uncensored overseas websites have preserved the posting. [1]
Beijing, China – Today (August 8, 2008) the Beijing Olympics opened. A few days ago, the authorities in charge of news media in China issued several notices to media on propaganda of the opening ceremony, and on rules and regulations pertaining to news reports of the Olympics. The notices emphasized positive reporting and reducing negative reporting such as the protest zone, the Kashgar incident [2], and misappropriation of the Sichuan disaster relief funds and other negative news.

On reporting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, media is required to:

1. Report effectively on leaders of other countries present at the Opening Ceremony who are gathering in Beijing;

2. Report effectively on congratulations and wishes from the athletes from other countries, and guests from all walks of life;

3. Report effectively on the opening ceremony, the torch lighting, and athletes entering the stadium;

4. Report effectively on positive remarks and comments on the opening ceremony both from home and abroad;

5. Report effectively on services provided on the opening day including transportation and security checks, etc;

6. Report effectively on the August 7 press conference (including announcements about the Opening Ceremony, news releases, and feature articles, etc);

7. Report effectively on the August 8 Rogge Press Conference and the Head of State Reception in the morning and the Opening Ceremony in the evening;

8. Report effectively on the press conference of the design and production of the Opening Ceremony;

9. Report effectively on cultural activities related to the Olympics;

10. On each day before 5:00 p.m., file internal briefings on reports from the Internet, including photos and reports, video, interactive discussions from all channels, and new reporting styles and highlights;

11. Establish a designated topic consisting of highlights of comments on the Opening Ceremony. (Positive Comments Only)

12. Provide good propaganda of the two songs on the Opening Ceremony day. Use Chinese red (regular red), make good use of the whole screen and apply other special effects.

When reporting on the Olympic Grams, pay attention to the following items:
1. Report the good news only when covering the Opening Ceremony; make full use of the news sources from the News Agency and; cannot use other sources but Xinhua and the People’s Daily for viewing ratings and the commentaries;

2. Do not report the Olympics as an entertainment;

3. Do not report any news on the protest zone;

4. Make effort to ensure the success of every detail, and pay close attention to the poem with hidden message and old photos;

5. Report the cost of the Olympics accurately;

6. Do not hype the selections of athletes;

7. Do not hype and predict our country’s goal for gold medals;

8. Do not hype the issues of the reward, retirement, placement and security of the athletes;

9. Positively report our country’s anti-stimulant effectiveness, standpoints, achievements, and attitudes;

10. Downplay the disrespectful behavior of any individual athlete;
11. The news reports on Kashgar Incident must fully comply with propaganda guidelines and must be from “conformed” sources;

12. When reporting the lifting of Internet ban, make best efforts to closely monitor and control live chat sessions;

13. When browsing on the Internet, do not deliberately search overseas websites;

14. The pictures of the Olympics cannot be vulgar or risqué;
15. Nie Weiping criticized Lang Ping vehemently. He needs to cool off and be careful in his choice of words when commenting;
16. On reporting the economy, the party line is that it is “good and fast,” includes the real estate and stock markets;

17. As regards the interactive aspect of the green channel, comments must be pasted to all without any problem;

18. For example, for emergency reports like in “The Four Men Climbed the Pole,” reporting must be in line with the “instructions.” This applies to blogs and videos;

19. Serious incidents like the two songs should not occurred again;

20. Pay attention to the selection of media reports: There’s a difference between the domestic and the international reporting. “China News Agency” and “The Global Times” are media reports geared to overseas;

21. The National Office of Audit has pointed out that one cannot report on misappropriation of the Sichuan disaster relief funds;

22. Do not over-report Alexander Solzhenitsyn

23. Do not report the attacks made by Western media linking the earthquake to the Olympics.

[1] Source:
[2] Sixteen Chinese policemen were killed on Monday August 4 in Kashgar city, of the western province of Xinjiang in an assault using explosives and knives that the state news agency described as a “suspected terrorist attack”. The attack, which also injured sixteen other policemen, came just four days before the opening of the Beijing Olympics, an event which had already put China’s security forces on high alert including the mobilization of 100,000 soldiers and police.