Beijing: A senior Chinese press administrator has promised to protect journalists` rights after a ban on publishing arbitrary criticisms without consent.
The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued a circular Wednesday banning journalists from publishing negative comments either privately or via media outlets without the approval of the news organisations they work for.
"Some people misinterpreted our instruction as not allowing press criticism in general, but in fact, we have resolutely protected reporters` lawful professional rights and positively support media supervision via public opinion," Xinhua quoted Jiang Jianguo, vice head of administration, as saying.
According to Jiang, the order that reporters obtain their media groups` approval to conduct critical reporting is in line with regular regulations and addresses the problem journalists abusing their positions for blackmail.
Wednesday`s circular is part of a national clean-up of fake reporters who want hush money for burying negative stories, which, in many cases, carry little truth.
"This behaviour has severely violated the rights of ordinary people, damaged media organisations` reputations and smeared the image of journalists," Jiang said.
The circular also banned reporters from working in advertising, marketing or public relations firms.