BEIJING, Sept. 26 -- Online news sites that publish
stories containing fabricated information, pornography, gambling or violence are
facing severe punishments or even shutdown.
These new measures were part of a new regulation on online news services, jointly introduced yesterday by the
State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Information Industry.
"We need to better regulate the online news services
with the emergence of so many unhealthy news stories that will easily mislead
the public," said a spokesman with the information office at a press conference
Services that provide online news stories, that have
bulletin board systems (BBS) or have the function of sending short messages
containing news contents to individual mobile phones are all subject to the
News sites set up by news organizations but
publishing not just their own stories, and sites by other organizations
featuring news stories must get approval from the State Council Information
Office. Sites by news organizations that only carry their own stories should
register at the main office or provincial information offices.
The regulation also spells out that media attached to
the central government or directly under provincial governments are not allowed
to provide any stories to other online news sites without approval.
A temporary regulation on online news services was
published in November 2000. But according to the spokesman, "it has lagged far
behind the development of online news services, in technology, content and form.
So it is necessary to have an updated version."
The public will help information departments at all
levels supervise news sites. Anyone who finds unhealthy online stories can visit
http://net.china.cn and report.
(Source: China Daily)