Declaration of the Campaign against the Central Propaganda Department

Declaration of the Campaign against the Central Propaganda Department

Jiao Guobiao, a deputy professor at Beijing University's Center for Media and Communications Studies, writes against the Central Propaganda Department in China that is responsible, he says, for stifling news reporting and unfairly punishing journalists.

By Jiao Guobiao
Translation by EastSouthWestNorth
Edited by Lynn Chang
April 9, 2004

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Editor's Note:

During the SARS outbreak in 2003, journalists at the progressive Chinese daily, Southern Metropolis News, published stories and exposes without proper clearance from their local propaganda department. In March of this year, several editors of the paper were arrested and jailed on charges that varied from corruption to embezzlement. Shortly after the sentences were handed down, Jiao Guobiao, a deputy professor at Beijing University's Center for Media and Communications Studies, wrote an article against the Central Propaganda Department that was responsible, in his mind, for stifling news reporting and unfairly punishing journalists. The article was picked up by many Chinese-language websites, despite being banned by the Propaganda Department.

The Central Propaganda Department has not prosecuted the professor--Jiao is now traveling the United States and talking about his experiences with censorship. He will give a talk entitled "Censorship in China and the Current Situation of the Chinese" at UCLA on Monday, November 29. More information about this event can be found on the UCLA Asia Institute website.

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What is the bottleneck in the cultural development of Chinese society? It is the Central Propaganda Department (and the entire propaganda system). What is the stumbling block in the cultural development of Chinese society? It is the Central Propaganda Department. Which is the largest and most powerful protective umbrella for the forces of evil and corruption in? It is the Central Propaganda Department. Why do I say that? Everybody knows that does not have too much freedom of the press; it is has too little. And who is trying to impose even more limits on the very little freedom of press? It is the Central Propaganda Department.

Freedom of press is a measure of the development of civilization. Western philosophers have said that they can do without government, but they cannot do without the freedom of press. The Central Propaganda Department treats freedom of press as the enemy, and does not even permit the words "freedom of press" to be used freely. This is an obvious infringement on this most basic measure of civilization. The Central Propaganda Department has become the bastion to defend the most reactionary forces, allowing them to abuse power and practice corruption at the cost of ruining the images of the party and the government as well as damaging the civil development of the nation. If they are permitted to continue to ignore the law and to abuse their power, they will not only cause eternal damnation for themselves but they would also hamper the reform process, delay the development of political culture and to put the millions of intellectuals in China into shame. Therefore, we must rise up and criticize the Central Propaganda Department.

1. What is it about the Central Propaganda Department? The Central Propaganda Department has fourteen kinds of illnesses.

2. How to rescue the Central Propaganda Department? The first and second option to rescue the Central Propaganda Department.

3. Why is the Central Propaganda Department so vicious? There are two reasons why the Central Propaganda Department is able to achieve these powers.

4. Why am I writing against the Central Propaganda Department? I have fourteen reasons about why I am calling out to campaign against the Central Propaganda Department.

5. Whose stability does the Central Propaganda Department protect? The need to reveal the stupidity, cold-bloodedness, venality of the "theory of stability" of the Central Propaganda Department and to affirm the scientific theory of stability.