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Testing time for Chinese media as party tightens control

Published on Dec 19, 2013 2:19 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Early next year, Chinese journalists will have to pass a new ideology exam to keep their press cards, in what reporters say is another example of the ruling Communist Party's increasing control over the media under President Xi Jinping.

It is the first time reporters have been required to take such a test en masse, state media has said.

The exam will be based on a 700-page manual being sold in bookshops. The manual is peppered with directives such as "it is absolutely not permitted for published reports to feature any comments that go against the party line", and "the relationship between the party and the news media is one of leader and the led".

The impact of increased control in the past year has been chilling, half a dozen reporters at Chinese state media told Reuters, mostly on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions for talking to the foreign media without permission.

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