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China pushes print media reform
( 2003-10-22 17:59) (Xinhua)

A work group to supervise print media reform in China started their journey Wednesday heading for 20 provinces, regions and municipalities.

The main task of the work group is to ensure the implementation of the central government's decision to stop compulsory subscription of newspapers and periodicals.

According to new rules released by the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP) on July 30, no forced subscription is allowed for any newspapers or periodicals, which aims to remove the burden of compulsory subscription on ordinary people, especially farmers.

The work group will visit provinces and regions including central China's Henan and Hubei Provinces and northeast China's Liaoning Province to hear the response of common people to the media reform. A supervision phone number will be released to the public for people to report any violations of the new rules.

The central government has decided to weed out some publications that yield no social or economic profit. During this journey, the work group will urge local departments to allocate jobs for media staff left unemployed as the cuts bite. Assets transfer of the closed newspapers and periodicals will also be supervised. Newspapers, periodicals and concerned departments violating the new rules will receive severe punishment.

The work group is composed of personnel from central government departments including the SAPP, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

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