No More Chinese Communist Party

April 18, 2010

NPR: Foreign Policy: World’s Worst Government Agencies

Filed under: Uncategorized — carryanne @ 10:03 am
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Central Propaganda Department

Country: China

What they do: Enforce proper thinking. The ruling Communist Party greatly fears a potential free flow of information to its populace and has created a massive network of censorship to avoid such a possibility. State propaganda is an integral aspect of most authoritarian governments — and a good number of democratic ones for that matter — but rarely is the agency behind these efforts so transparent about its intentions.

Interestingly, the department is not officially part of the Chinese government, and is given no legal authority to enforce media censorship — but according to a 2005 reported by the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, it still screens content to ensure that “anything that is inconsistent with the Communist Party’s political dogma” never sees the light of day and works closely with state authorities tasked with restricting information.

The department’s main strategy to restrict content is the encouragement of self-censorship among Chinese journalists. News outlets are expected to take their cues on what constitutes acceptable reporting, and what the party wants reported, through comments made by party officials. Furthermore, editors are forced to attend “indoctrination sessions.” The department also handles “red tourism,” a package of the most important sites in China, as perceived by the party, for visitors to see and maintains China’s version of Civil War battlefield sites, the party’s “patriotic education” bases.

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