China Cracks Down on Fake Journalists

Chinese press authorities have launched a new crackdown on illegal media and fake journalists.

The campaign, which will run until September, will focus on illegal online media and people who defraud or extort money by pretending to be journalists, according to a joint statement released on Friday by the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

In a previous campaign running from December 2013 to the end of February, authorities investigated 136 criminal cases involving fake journalists and confiscated 1.34 million illegal newspapers and magazines.

Many suspects sought negative news about government organs or companies while posing as journalists, and then extorted money from them by threatening to publicize the news, according to the office. Some fake journalists also asked for money in return for releasing positive stories.

Their illegal acts have seriously damaged the people’s interests as well as media credibility, the statement said.

It added that genuine media and journalists involved in these illegal cases would also be targeted in the new campaign.

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