BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese journalists have been told to remain impartial and guard against using rumors as sources for their reports, according to a set of regulations issued by the government Thursday.
The regulations, issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), are aimed at increasing the credibility of Chinese news organizations. The reputation of some Chinese news media has been tainted by scandals involving inaccurate reporting, said a GAPP spokesman.
Under the regulations, journalists are required to quote at least two sources in critical reports and are banned from altering news photographs or video clips in a way that distorts the authenticity of the material.
News organizations will have to make corrections and issue apologies if their reports are found to be untrue or inaccurate, according to the regulations.
Reporters will have their press cards revoked for five years or even be barred from the journalistic profession for life if they are found to fabricate stories that result in "serious consequences."
News organizations risk having their reporting licenses revoked or services temporarily suspended if they publish untrue or inaccurate stories, read the regulations.
China's press watchdogs have been keeping a close eye on false reporting. Since the start of 2010, the GAPP has uncovered 160 reports that were fabricated or inaccurate, according to its spokesman.
On Oct. 28, 2010, the GAPP criticized six media houses for falsely reporting news.
In one instance, Gansu Daily, an important local newspaper in the northwestern province of Gansu, erroneously reported in July this year that Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, would become the fifth municipality directly under the control of central government. This false information effected the capital market, causing drastic fluctuations of Shaanxi-related stocks.