China graft watchdog raps top paper for covering up news

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 18, 2015 10:26 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's anti-graft watchdog has criticized the ruling Communist Party's official newspaper the People's Daily for abuses at some of its subsidiaries and bureaus including covering up news in exchange for money and misusing government funds.

Since President Xi Jinping unveiled a massive new push to root out deep-seated corruption three years ago, party graft-busting teams have been sent into government departments around the country.

Completing its latest inspection at the People's Daily, the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said the newspapers' stories had created a "good atmosphere" in the corruption fight.

But it also discovered some serious problems, the watchdog said in a statement released late on Sunday.

Government money has been spent on taking holidays, and when problems are discovered they are often not handled properly, it said.

"Some domestic bureaus have used party newspaper resources to seek profits for development projects; some subsidiaries have a problem of taking money to either report news or not report news, or engage in blackmail over news," the watchdog said.

It did not give details.

The People's Daily Editor-in-Chief Yang Zhenwu was quoted in the commission's statement as saying the paper would take on board the inspectors' report and use it as a warning to make sure corruption-fighting efforts are fully implemented.

The government has long been campaigning against reporters covering up news or giving more favorable coverage to a subject in exchange for money.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Edmund Klamann)