On June 30, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television posted a statement on its website warning Chinese journalists not to share information with their counterparts in the foreign press corps. Most major non-Chinese news organizations rely heavily on Chinese nationals to conduct research, identify sources, serve as interpreters, and, in some cases, interview sources who are reluctant to speak with foreigners over the telephone. The Chinese government doesn’t consider these employees of foreign news organizations to be official journalists (and it forbids Chinese nationals from working as correspondents for foreign media organizations.) It’s unclear to what extent the new rules target them. But when overt censorship or self-censoring editors prevent Chinese journalists who work for the country’s own media outlets from publishing their stories, they often pass them on to reporters at foreign news organizations, sometimes doing so through their Chinese news assistants. It is this information exchange that the new rules appear to want to block. We’ve asked media watchers and journalists to tell us how they read the new restrictions and to gauge their likely impact.—The Editors


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