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New measures to regulate online news services
By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-26 05:30

Online news sites that publish stories containing fabricated information, pornography, gambling or violence are facing severe punishments or even shutdown.

These new measures were part of a new regulation on online news services, jointly introduced yesterday by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Information Industry.

"We need to better regulate the online news services with the emergence of so many unhealthy news stories that will easily mislead the public," said a spokesman with the information office at a press conference yesterday.

Services that provide online news stories, that have bulletin board systems (BBS) or have the function of sending short messages containing news contents to individual mobile phones are all subject to the regulation.

News sites set up by news organizations but publishing not just their own stories, and sites by other organizations featuring news stories must get approval from the State Council Information Office. Sites by news organizations that only carry their own stories should register at the main office or provincial information offices.

The regulation also spells out that media attached to the central government or directly under provincial governments are not allowed to provide any stories to other online news sites without approval.

A temporary regulation on online news services was published in November 2000. But according to the spokesman, "it has lagged far behind the development of online news services, in technology, content and form. So it is necessary to have an updated version."

The public will help information departments at all levels supervise news sites. Anyone who finds unhealthy online stories can visit http://net.china.cn and report.

(China Daily 09/26/2005 page2)

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