Ph: Chine-RFI

Chinese state media journalists will be subjected to a loyalty test in the coming months. A total of 10,000 reporters and editors will undergo a “pilot test” prior to national reviews; and press cards, will only be issued to those who succeed, reports Fir.

After targeting foreign media, accused of spreading “universal values” harmful to the People’s Republic, a new government initiative is targeting Chinese journalists. They are now forced to pass a loyalty test. According to the South China Morning Post, loyalty tests on the Xuexi Qiangguo mobile app, a kind of digital “little red book” dedicated to Xi Jinping’s thinking, and is expected to initially cover 14 online media outlets and about 10,000 journalists in Beijing. It is now clear that in China, you have to know the quotes of the Chinese president at your fingertips to advance in his career.

According to IFR, these tests were already carried out collectively and not digitally “every two or three years”. Digital technology reinforces ideological control, without having any repercussions in terms of sanctions. The novelty here would be to link the obtaining of  press card to the success of exam, as indicated in a note published by the media control office of the  China Communist Party last month.

An additional stress for the editors if the decision is actually applied, as this would be in addition to other measures existing in the profession. However, those who fail will have a second chance and will be able to retake the exam according to the same authorities.

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