Over 360 Chinese newspapers to be shut down


Beijing : Over 360 newspapers or periodicals in China – or three percent of the nation’s total publications – would be shut down over the next three years.

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A total of 188 newspapers and periodicals were closed in 2009, after China’s General Administration of Press and Publication introduced a market-oriented competition plan in 2008 that shuts down struggling and poorly-managed newspapers.

The “quality evaluation” programme analyses newspapers’ infrastructure, environmental resources and management abilities.

“We are determined to close those publications with potential insolvency and poor development abilities,” Liu Binjie, director general of the administration, was quoted as saying Sunday by Global Times.

Liu said the mechanism for market withdrawal will help improve the surviving publications through competition.

For many years, newspapers were allowed to stay in the market whether or not they made profit.

In a pilot programme launched in 2008, 12 newspapers and periodicals in Liaoning were closed, while three other publications in Hebei were shut down.

China Press Journal, a newspaper run by the All China Journalists’ Association, was shut down in August 2009 due to poor management, making it the first national newspaper to cease publication.

There are 1,943 newspapers and nearly 10,000 periodicals in China, statistics said.

“The new mechanism shows that the government wants to introduce competition into the press market, which is also a positive way to promote fair play for publication companies like us,” Li Tong, chief editor of Motto magazine, a semi-monthly in Heilongjiang province, was quoted as saying.