It's no secret that the Chinese gov't issues "directives" on how the press ought to report on certain stories if they want to stay out of trouble, so it's interesting (found via the NY Times Bits Blog
) that the orders that were sent around on how to report on the news of Google leaving China have leaked
. The basic order notes that China switched its services to Hong Kong, says that reporters should use text from (state run) Xinhua, and says "don't play it up," in reference to the story. The more complete document is as follows:
All chief editors and managers:
Google has officially announced its withdrawal from the China market. This is a high-impact incident. It has triggered netizens' discussions which are not limited to a commercial level. Therefore please pay strict attention to the following content requirements during this period:
A. News Section
1. Only use Central Government main media (website) content; do not use content from other sources
2. Reposting must not change title
3. News recommendations should refer to Central government main media websites
4. Do not produce relevant topic pages; do not set discussion sessions; do not conduct related investigative reporting;
5. Online programs with experts and scholars on this matter must apply for permission ahead of time. This type of self-initiated program production is strictly forbidden.
6. Carefully manage the commentary posts under news items.
B. Forums, blogs and other interactive media sections:
1. It is not permitted to hold discussions or investigations on the Google topic
2. Interactive sections do not recommend this topic, do not place this topic and related comments at the top
3. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which attack the Party, State, government agencies, Internet policies with the excuse of this event.
4. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others have a different tune from government policy
5. On topics related to Google, carefully manage the information in exchanges, comments and other interactive sessions
6. Chief managers in different regions please assign specific manpower to monitor Google-related information; if there is information about mass incidents, please report it in a timely manner.
We ask the Monitoring and Control Group to immediately follow up monitoring and control actions along the above directions; once any problems are discovered, please communicate with respected sessions in a timely manner.
- Do not participate in and report Google’s information/press releases
- Do not report about Google exerting pressure on our country via people or events
- Related reports need to put [our story/perspective/information] in the center, do not provide materials for Google to attack relavent policies of our country
- Use talking points about Google withdrawing from China published by relevant departments
Separately, that site points to an amusing transcript
of a reporter calling the Chinese gov't to get official comments on the news of Google leaving China.