Do not cause panic and do not use emotionally charged words like “slump”, “spike”, or collapse”. Those were just some of the guidelines handed out by Chinese authorities to media outlets on how to cover the stock market, according to China Digital Times.

The instruction came after China’s stock exchange plunged by 30 percent last week. The plunge wiped out trillions of dollars worth of market value in just three weeks. The stock market was frozen after trading on $2.6 trillion worth of shares were suspended.

Photo: Liberty Times Net.

According to CDT website, the directives – which were issued by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) – called on all media outlets to substantially cut down on coverage of the stock market, and to only report information released by the country’s securities watchdog, the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

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Radio and television stations must substantially cut down on coverage of the stock market and strictly observe the following rules:

  1. Necessary coverage of the stock market must be completely balanced, objective, and rational. Do not join the chorus of the bull or bear market. Rationally lead market expectations to prevent inappropriate reports from causing the market to spike or crash.
  2. Without exception, discontinue discussions, expert interviews, and on-site live coverage. Do not conduct in-depth analysis, and do not speculate on or assess the direction of the market. Do not exaggerate panic or sadness. Do not use emotionally charged words such as “slump,” “spike,” or “collapse.”
  3. Strictly report according to information released by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Resolutely avoid promulgating false information.
  4. Programs on securities must be produced and broadcast by the broadcast organization. Do not rent or transfer time slots, do not broadcast programs produced by consulting organizations, and do not embark on commercial ventures with consulting organizations. (June 23, 2015)

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广播电视台等媒体近期要大幅减少关于股市的报道,少量报道股市,并严格遵守以下规定:

1,必要的股市报道要做到 全面平衡、客观理性,不集中唱多,不合力唱空,合理引导市场预期,防止因报道不当 引起股市大涨大跌。

2,一律不再组织评论言论、专家访谈、现场连线,不做深度解读,不猜测、评价股市走向,不渲染恐慌、悲情气氛,不使用‘暴跌’‘暴涨’‘崩盘’等煽情用语。

3,要严格以监管部门正式发布的信息为依据进行报道,坚决避免传播虚假不实信息。

4,所办证券节目须为播出机构自制自播,不得出租转让时段,不得播出咨询机构提供的节目,不得与咨询机构进行商业合作。

【“真理部”是网民对中国共产党中央委员会宣传部和其下属的各省宣传部,以及国务院新闻办公室,互联网信息办公室,中央文明办,国家新闻出版广电总局,文化部等一系列言论出版审查机构的总称。】
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In addition to this, the guidelines said that stock market coverage needs to be “completely balanced, objective, and rational”, there should be no interviews with experts, no live on-site coverage, and reports should be “rationally lead” in order to prevent and spike or crash in the market.

China Digital Times says that the wording and dates of directives leaked to them may not be exact as they are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors.

Vicky Wong

Vicky is a British-born Chinese journalist with three years of experience covering UK politics. She previously worked for PoliticsHome and has interned at Sky News and CNN International. She also co-produced and filmed a documentary about the Hong Kong protests for MSNBC, which won the grand student prize at the 2015 Human Rights Press Awards. She has a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading and moved to Hong Kong in 2014 to complete a journalism masters at the University of Hong Kong.