9 journalists jailed for taking bribes

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, March 30, 2010
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Nine journalists from eight media organizations have received jail sentences ranging from one and half years to 16 years for taking bribes to cover up a deadly coal mine accident in north China, the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) announced Tuesday.

A total of 10 journalists took bribes from the owner of a coal mine in Weixian county, of Zhangjiakou city, in northern Hebei Province, in return for not reporting an explosion on July 14, 2008, in which 35 people died, said the GAPP statement.

Nine of them were prosecuted and one was banned by the GAPP from working in the industry, the statement said.

Li Junqi, head of the Hebei provincial branch of Farmer's Daily, a national newspaper, took 200,000 yuan (29,000 U.S. dollars) from the mine owner. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

The Farmer's Daily was fined 30,000 yuan by the GAPP and ordered to close its branch in Hebei.

Five industry newspapers, such as the Consumption Daily, and two local journals were also involved.

The GAPP warned journalists nationwide not to take bribes or blackmail interviewees.

It also planned to launch a nationwide investigation of malpractice by journalists.

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