Notice Regarding the Issuance of the "Measures on Management of Information obtained by Press Personnel in Professional Conduct"

SAPPRFT Release No. 75 (2014)

To the News publishing and broadcast bureaus of each province (autonomous region, directly controlled municipality), and the news and broadcast bureau of the Xinjiang production corps, and to all central party and state ministries and committees, all democratic parties, all departments responsible for managing journals of people's social organizations and principle news units of the central authorities:

In recent years a phenomenon has emerged of press personnel abusing information obtained through professional conduct. Some violate regulations on confidentiality by casually disclosing and transmitting classified information, some use network platforms to release information obtained in the course of professional services, some transmit reports not yet released by their news units to other domestic and foreign media, and some exploit news unit resources to gain improper benefits, disrupting the normal order of news transmission and harming the interests of the Party and the state. So as to truly strengthen the management of information obtained by press personnel in professional conduct, and in accordance with the "Law on the Protection of State Secrets" and other relevant laws and regulations, SAPPRFT has drafted and hereby issues the "Measures on Management of Information obtained by Press Personnel in Professional Conduct."

--State Administration of Press, Publication, Film, Radio and Television.

June 30, 2014

Measures on Management of Information obtained by Press Personnel in Professional Conduct

Article 1:  These measures are formulated on the basis of the Law on the Protection of State Secrets, the Labor Contract Law, The Copyright Law and other related laws and regulations, so as to strengthen the management of information obtained by press member's in their professional conduct.

Article 2:  "Information obtained by Press Personnel in Professional Conduct" as used in these Measures, refers to all kinds of information, materials and resulting news pieces, obtained while conducting interviews, attending meetings, hearing communications, reading documents or through other professional activities by a news units' reporters, editors, announcers, anchors and other press personnel collecting or editing news or providing technical support or other auxiliary activities; this includes state secrets, commercial secrets and information that has not been publicly disclosed.

Article 3: News units should adhere to the principles of following the laws and regulations, drawing on positives and avoiding harms, being receptive to management and use, and manageability and control, to strengthen information management in professional conduct and ensure that the use of information obtained in press personnel's professional conduct is scientific and rational, standardized and orderly.

Article 4:  News units shall strengthen confidentially systems, and clearly understand the scope and the period of secrecy for state secret information encountered by press personnel in their professional acts; they shall strengthen systems for the receipt, transfer, use, reproduction, storage and destruction of states secrets carriers [storage media], prohibit the unlawful reproduction, recording or storage of state secrets; prohibit the transfer of state secrets in any medium or in any format, and prohibit touching upon state secrets in personal interactions and communications.

Press personnel shall undergo confidentiality training upon appointment, and they shall sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Article 5: News units should follow the relevant provisions of the "Labor Contract Law" to sign a confidentiality agreement for information obtained in professional conduct on confidential matters such as commercial secrets, information that has not been publicly released, professional works and other intellectual property related to secret matters; sign a confidentiality agreement on information obtained in press personnel's professional conduct, and establish a unified management system for information obtained in professional conduct.

Confidentiality agreements should categorically clarify who has the rights to information obtained in professional conduct, the scope of its use, duties after leaving the post or profession, and liability for breach.

Press personnel must not violate the terms of the confidentiality agreement by providing information obtained in professional conduct to domestic or foreign media or websites, or undertaking posts such as being a foreign media's 'special reporter', 'special correspondent' , 'special copywriter,' or columnist.

Article 6: Press personnel must not use information obtained in professional conduct to gain improper benefits.

Article 7: Press personnel launching a blog, microblog or Wechat account, etc, must get the permission of their news unit and have this recorded, and the news unit will have responsibility for routine supervision.

Press personnel must not violate the terms of the confidentiality agreement by revealing or releasing information obtained in professional conduct through blogs, microblogs, public or personal WeChat accounts or any other channel, as well as at forums, lectures or any other venue.

Article 8: Press personnel leaving a post or job must return all materials and documents involving secrets, and perform their duty of confidentiality through the period determined by statute or agreement.

Article 9: News units should make signing a non-disclosure agreement and confidentiality agreement on information obtained in professional conduct a mandatory requirement of hiring and taking positions as press personnel; those who have not signed must not be hired or take posts.

Article 10: News collection and editorial personnel who are applying for or renewing press credentials must follow the provisions of the "Measures for Management of Press Credentials" to submit the relevant application materials, where the application materials do not include a non-disclosure agreement and a confidentiality agreement on information obtained in professional conduct, press credentials will not be approved.

Article 11: News units participating in the annual press credentials review should provide the Press, Publications, Radio, Film, and Television administrative departments with the press personnel's signed non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements on information obtained in professional conduct, and the state of their implementation.

Article 12: Where press personnel use information obtained in professional conduct without authorization, in breach of their non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement, news units shall investigate their liability for breach of contact per their contract, impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions depending on the circumstances, and investigate their civil liability.

Article 13: Units with authority over news units should supervise and urge their subordinate news units in strengthening their systems for non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, and toin fulfilling their management duties; Press, Publications, Radio, Film, and Television administrative departments shall strengthen routine supervision and inspection of the management of information obtained by news units in professional conduct within their administrative jurisdictions.

Article 14: Press personnel whose unauthorized release of information obtained in their professional conduct causes serious consequences will have their press credentials revoked by the Press, Publications, Radio, Film, and Television administrative departments in accordance with law, and will be listed in the records of bad professional conduct, and be banned or restricted from the [press] industry.

Article 15: Where news units management of information obtained by press personnel in their professional conduct is in disarray and causes serious issues such as inadvertent disclosures, breaches of secrecy, extortion, or rights infringement, they shall be investigated and prosecuted by the Press, Publications, Radio, Film, and Television administrative departments in accordance with law, and ordered to rectify the situation. Those who refuse to comply, or who do not adequately rectify the situation, will not be granted an annual examination; where circumstances are severe, they will have their licenses revoked and the person(s) in charge, and those directly responsible, at the news unit , will be held accountable in accordance with the law.

Article 16: Where press personnel violate rules and use information obtained in professional conduct to cause a leak or breach of secrecy, relevant personnel are pursued for liability in accordance with law, and those suspected of violating administrative regulations or committing crimes are transferred to judicial organs for disposition.

Article 17: These measures take effect beginning on the date of their promulgation.

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