Chinese change media regulations

The Chinese government has this week introduced new regulations intended to improve the reporting environment for foreign media covering the 2008 Olympics — but concerns have been expressed as to how effective the changes will be.

The most significant development is the inclusion of article six, which states "to interview organisations or individuals in China, foreign journalists need only to obtain their prior consent".

Sky News's Dominic Waghorn, who earlier this week won the Foreign Press Club award for his work in the country, told Press Gazette: "We should be grateful for any sign of progress, but this is basically a con.

It falls short of what China promised to do when it was given the Olympics, which was to allow unlimited access for foreign journalists to report on any issue, not just Olympic-related topics.

The way this is being reported risks giving the impression that China is becoming more liberal in its attitudes to the press, when it is becoming more repressive, in particular towards Chinese journalists but also towards foreign journalists of Chinese ethnic origin."

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