China media regulator speaks out about arrest of reporter
AFPBEIJING -- China's media regulator has vowed to protect “lawful reporting rights,” state media said, in a rare official intervention over press freedom after a journalist was detained by police.
October 25, 2013, 12:27 am TWN
Chen Yongzhou, with the New Express tabloid, was held last Friday on “suspicion of damaging business reputation” after he wrote a series of articles on “financial problems” at Zoomlion, a partly state-owned construction machinery manufacturer.
The New Express on Wednesday ran a full-page editorial on its front page to call for Chen's release, in a rare example of media defying authorities that drew an outpouring of sympathy and support online and among its press peers.
China's General Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film and Television (GAPPRFT) said it was “highly concerned” by Chen's detention, the China Press and Publishing Journal — which is run by the agency — reported late Wednesday.
The agency has “coordinated with relevant authorities” to ensure the case was handled “in a just and appropriate manner,” the report said.
GAPPRFT is a key part of Beijing's mechanisms to control the media, and issues the credentials all Chinese journalists need to be able to work.
“The GAPPRFT firmly supports the media to carry out normal reporting activities and firmly protects the justified and lawful reporting rights of journalists,” the report quoted an unidentified official as saying.