China exposes media blackmailing cases

Beijing, Dec 27: The All-China Journalists Association Thursday detailed cases of media blackmailing, calling for journalists and news organisations to safeguard the image of the profession, Xinhua reported.

Wang Qingji, who was a reporter with the China Reform Daily, illegally charged 80,000 yuan (or $13,176) in “propaganda fees” from a hospital in east China’s Shandong province in 2012.

Wang, who also worked part time for China Food Safety News, has been removed from office at the two newspapers, and Wang’s press card has been revoked, according to the association.

A report, which was carried by the 21st Century Business Herald Aug 9, mistakenly reported a future five-year development target for Youyang county in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality as the county’s target for 2012.

In addition, a report carried by a morning newspaper in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, claimed that a man discovered that a woman who he had planned to have sex with in an apartment was proved to be his daughter-in-law. The report was ultimately verified to be misrepresenting the facts.

The report was originally produced by a local television station and was reprinted by the paper, the association added.

In October, Chen Yongzhou, a former reporter for Guangzhou-based daily newspaper New Express, was arrested for allegedly causing damage to the commercial reputation of Zoomlion, an engineering company in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan province.

He confessed to blackmailing the company as well as fabricating a series of reports targeting the firm.

Such cases have discredited the image of the media and caused negative social effects, according to the association, adding that relevant journalists and news organisations have received punishments ranging from revocation of press cards to warnings.

IANS