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China loosens TV regulations; Reuters calls it censorship

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Checked with two sources?
Earlier today, Danwei reported on a new set of regulations issued by SARFT that give more flexibility to producers of TV dramas. So it was rather surprising to see Reuters publish an article titled China censors focus in on television dramas, news:
China unveiled new censorship rules for television dramas and news reports on Tuesday that tighten the Communist Party's squeeze on the country's increasingly commercial media...

The new rules...said historical soap operas that involve 'major or sensitive' issues -- including political, military and religious themes -- must receive approval. Those that 'seriously' depart from censors' demands will not be given screening approval, SARFT said.

Danwei's Joel Martinsen clarified his take on it in an update:

It's true that the preamble to the memo goes on at length about "strengthing political consciousness," but that sort of boilerplate may not mean anything significant. This "sensitive issues" have appeared in prior SARFT documents - the earlier system required certain topics to be pre-approved by relevant government departments, and SARFT's movie review system treats those topics as "special" as well. What seems to be going on here is that SARFT is turning its review responsibility over to provincial-level oversight bodies, and is reiterating its own in-house requirements for their benefit.

A few reports in the Chinese media looked at the localization angle, but most chose to play up the phasing out of what Wang called a vestige of the planned economy, since it has a greater potential to be directly relevant to viewers' interests. Perhaps this will result in greater censorship, but on the surface of it, the Reuters article seems to be another instance where any change in media regulation is seen as a bad thing.

Indeed. It seems to me that Reuters simply did not do any homework about previous TV regulations, and assumed that the new rules must be stricter than the old, adding a reference to the recent nonsense Western media story about GAPP refusing to allow any new foreign magazines in China.

There is however one valid point in the Reuters article:

SARFT also warned local television stations to stick to international news reports provided by the state-run China Central Television, and avoid foreign sources.

There are currently 2 Comments for China loosens TV regulations; Reuters calls it censorship.

Comments on China loosens TV regulations; Reuters calls it censorship

A blogger complaining about the MSM's lack of attention to the blogger's niche field of interest. Ho hum. Are you denying that there is a media crackdown just because some regulations seem to be relaxing?

Jakeboy,
Your comment is facetious and self-defeating. It is inevitable that someone in the industry is better equipped to analyse the situation that some Reuters hack who has no knowledge about the subject matter at all.
The very patronising style of your comment suggests you are a journalist or at least from the mainstream media.

The reality is that many thinking people, globally, have lost faith in the mainstream because the mainstream hacks seem unable (or unwilling), any more, to report the facts or analyse change in laws, preferring to make a political point out of every single thing. Whatevere happens it must be "Commernist Chana bad!". It's a big yawn, quite frankly.

Ho hum indeed.

- Mark

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