In November 2006, the propaganda department of a county Communist Party Committee affirmed that news reporting is a matter of politics. "Media is the mouthpiece of the Party." The Party should carefully guide public opinion by following "the principle of ‘enhancing positive publicity, blocking negative reports, and handling sensitive reports with caution." The directive calls for implementation of a mechanism of censorship so that "no person shall collect and publish news reports on problems and hot issues without the approval of the County Committee’s Propaganda Department." Topics banned from news reporting include disparity of income, lawsuits against the Party and the authorities, embezzlement and anything that will "bring instability to our society." News reporting of international events must be consistent with that of the central government. Violators will be publicly reprimanded.
Hong Kong’s Apple Daily recently commented on the Chinese government’s information control and how Chinese journalists tiptoe when reporting on "taboo" topics such as Falun Gong in Hong Kong and the June 4 (the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre) candlelight vigil in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.
Just days before July 1, 2007, the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s hand-over to communist China, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan were denied entry into Hong Kong. After arriving, most of them were deported back to Taiwan. The incident started on June 25 when Theresa Chu, a Falun Gong human rights attorney was denied entry. As of June 30, about 520 people had been deported or detained at the airport.
Study Times, the newspaper of the Communist Party School in Beijing, published an article on June 26, 2007, titled "Take the Initiative to Control Public Opinion." The article states that by proactively feeding information to the media, the Party news release mechanism implemented last December "will guide media and public opinion, both domestically and overseas, and set the agenda for both domestic and overseas public opinion, thus diverting the media’s original focus and perspective so that the media will voluntarily report and track news events and topics as released by the Party."
China’s crackdown on unauthorized installation of household satellite dishes is "an urgent response to the attempts of overseas hostile forces to infiltrate and divide China." It is also meant to "prevent Falun Gong members and Christian groups from spreading their religious activities using ground satellite receivers."
The Chinese authorities in charge of propaganda are applying stricter censorship over the media and have criticized several publishing houses as having "serious problems." Meeting minutes released by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television discussed 20 guidelines for conforming to China’s propaganda policies.