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New law protects news media

[ 2009-08-19 11:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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The authorities of Kunming, have created a law that will punish any person or organization obstructing the work of the media or reporters in telling the news.

"Those who refuse, interfere with, or obstruct this news media supervision will be seen as violators of the law," reads the draft of the law, published on the Kunming government website.

The Kunming committee of National People's Congress will carry out the first round of voting for the new law on Thursday.

Teng Li, vice chief prosecutor of Kunming Prosecutorate, one of the draftsmen, said the protection of the media, and their supervisory role, will help prevent crimes.

The regulation sets standards and limits for both sides. Journalists are required to report the truth and facts. On the other side, organizations and individuals are not allowed to refuse interviews, damage reporters' equipment, or threaten journalists' personal safety.

The regulation does not outline what the punishments for such offenses would be.

However, some experts pointed out that the regulation is not specific enough, which could lead to difficulty in enforcement.

Shan Xiaohong, director of the school of journalism at Yunnan University, said the law should include more specific definitions of "interference" and "obstruction." Also, the law doesn't explain exactly what "the media should supervise legally."

Chen Changcheng, a journalist from China Enterprise News, said if the regulation becomes a nationwide law, freedom of journalism in China would be more protected.

"We as journalists have no legal protection for our right to interview and know. If the regulation of Kunming will be put into practice, the local democracy and news freedom will be promoted," he said.

However, Zhang Kai, a lawyer from Beijing Yijia, worries that a city-level regulation will not carry much weight.

"If a provincial department or official is involved, I'm afraid it is not that useful," he said.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

New law protects news media

New law protects news mediaBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.