Government cracks down on coverage of America’s new conflict

New York, October 2, 2001—The day after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., the Chinese government notified all media, including Internet portals, that they should refrain from publishing anti-American reports, according to international news reports.

A few days later, on September 16, the Central Propaganda Department issued another directive ordering all domestic news organizations to refrain from publishing commentaries expressing support for either side in the conflict.

Detailed background reporting on terrorist activities, including planning for the September 11 attacks, was also banned.

“We are supposed to report the facts only,” one journalist told the South China Morning Post. “Anything with value judgment such as condemning the terrorists or supporting the Americans to retaliate is prohibited.”