In an interview published at Caixin Media, Hu Shuli’s post-Caijing venture, on April 30, CMP fellow Zhan Jiang discusses a recent policy announced by Wuhan’s local chapter of the All-China Journalists Association (ACJA). According to the policy, any journalist who makes serious factual errors as a result of “insufficient depth and detail of reporting” (采访不深入不细) will be immediately laid off without exception and then handled accordingly:
. . . Zhan Jiang believes that the ACJA, the consumers association and other industry organizations will move from organs controlled by the government to true non-governmental organizations through the course of China’s transition, but for a number of reasons they are now caught in between. China must accelerate the creation of of relevant laws for social organizations in order to avoid this ‘ridiculous’ and ‘silly’ state of affairs.
Zhan Jiang firmly opposes the methods of the journalists association in Wuhan, but he “hopes this is just a gimmick they are using to puff themselves up.”
Without a doubt, China’s news media are now in a situation of chaos, with media and journalists operating with a sense of idealism and conscience on the one hand, and others simply looking for personal benefit or a springboard [for other ventures]. However, Zhan Jiang points out that the relationship between the rights and obligations of the news media should be determined by law, and not be subject to control by arbitrary people.