In the lead-up to the Shanghai World Expo, the Chinese government’s propaganda department has released a new set of directives for journalists covering the event. According to Reporters Without Borders, they include reducing coverage of the Jyekundo earthquake:
Reporters Without Borders has been told that another directive from the Propaganda Department on 25 April asked the media to reduce their coverage of the consequences of the Qinghai earthquake and increase the number of reports and features about the Shanghai exhibition.
According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, the Propaganda Department has set the following rules for covering the earthquake: Talk of the earthquake in “scientific terms” ; Do not criticise the earthquake forecasting agency ; Do not focus too much on the efforts by Buddhist monks to help the victims ; and Give extensive coverage to the appeals for donations organised by state-owned CCTV.
The Information Office, whose responsibilities include monitoring the Internet, has reminded major news websites that they can not do their own reporting. As regards the earthquake, the government has ordered sites managers to make sure that reports contain no mention of the Dalai Lama and the solidarity campaigns organised by Tibetans.
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