News from foreign (or outside-border) sources must no longer be used by Chinese press people without prior authorization, Radio Australia‘s Mandarin service quotes a notice from China’s SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television). Also part of a move to standardize editorial behavior are the management of news websites, and of blogging and microblogging – three further efforts combined. According to Radio Australia, editors and journalists are also told to get approval from their work units before registering with a microblogging platform (probably particularly before registering with Sina Weibo).
Reporters without Borders (RSF) published a statement on Wednesday, roundly condemning the SARFT directive. RSF believes that embarrassing revelations about China’s leaders in foreign media – particularly about the alledged fortunes acquired by former chief state councillor Wen Jiabao‘s and current party general secretary and state chairman Xi Jinping‘s families – had triggered the move.