BEIJING -- China on
Monday reiterated that all media staff must "strictly follow news ethics" and
persist with the "authenticity of journalism" days after the infamous cardboard
bun expose was found a hoax by the government.
"The fabricated report about the cardboard buns, produced by the Beijing TV's
Life Channel and carried by many other media, has had an extremely bad influence
on society," said a statement jointly released by three departments.
It condemned the act of fabricating news following a government announcement
that the report on buns stuffed with cardboard aired on Beijing TV was fake.
The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central
Committee, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and General
Administration of Press and Publications reminded state media and
provincial-level publicity departments in charge of local media to "brush up on
journalistic ethnics" and "maintain the image and social credibility of the
"Authenticity is the lifeblood of journalism while fabricated reporting is
its arch-enemy," it said.
Some media workers, defying news ethnics and state regulations, fabricated
news to seek profits or influence, resulting in an "extremely serious" outcome,
said the statement.
All media organizations must ensure the authenticity of news sources and
facts and regulate the flow of news editing such as the use of public
contributions and Internet resources, it said, adding editors are not allowed to
run stories that have not been verified.
The statement also required reporters to "take press cards while covering new
The departments vowed to "impose heavy penalties" to reporters and media
organizations that deliberately fabricate news stories or stir the influence of
faked news, it said.
Six Beijing TV workers were either criticized, reprimanded or sacked for
their roles in the report and Beijing TV issued an apology.
The head of Beijing Television Station was publicly reprimanded and the
editor-in-chief was given a warning. One deputy editor-in-chief was given a
demerit, said the statement. All three were asked to compose self-criticisms.
The deputy director in charge of the Life Channel of the TV service -- the
director's post is vacant -- and the producer and a deputy director in charge of
the Transparency programme were sacked.
Police have arrested the reporter, Zi Beijia, a temporary employee.
Beijing TV has also terminated the contracts of editorial staff on the