[Wuhan Virus]Newspapers Apologize to Government for Leaking the Truth

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Translator: VOG-SenSpirit

Explanations and apologies for Hubei Daily Media Group employee’s incorrect remarks on personal Weibo 

To: Wuhan Municipal Party Committee, City Hall, prevention and control headquarters:

While the “new pneumonia” epidemic has been spreading in Wuhan City, the leaders of all levels have been working hard. The vast majority of editors and reporters of our group carried out the decision of the central, provincial and Wuhan city governments that their power was to be invested in epidemic prevention and control reports during this critical time. Zhang Ouya, an employee of our group company, made an incorrect statement on his personal Weibo page this afternoon. Consequently, the posted article triggered some negative circulation through some other self-media channels. We have taken actions as fast as possible, such as to immediately instruct the parties to delete the original Weibo after discovering it, and to contact the Provincial Internet Information Office and the Central Internet Information Office to check and delete secondary transmissions throughout the network. Even though we have made statements through different channels that the erroneous account made by the individual employee does not represent the voice of the Party News Group reporters, nor does it represent the Hubei Daily Media Group, the article has still caused adverse effects. It has added disorder to the current epidemic prevention and control work and has “added blockages” in the thoughts of leaders at all levels. Due to our lack of efforts, which are the education of CCP’s discipline principles for employees and personal Weibo self-media management, this has caused adverse consequences. We are deeply distressed, deeply self-ashamed, and we sincerely commiserate with the leaders of the Municipal Party Committee, the Municipal Government and the Municipal Prevention and Control Command, and we apologize genuinely.

The Hubei Daily Group does not have a chief reporter seat position. Zhang Ouya, who made the erroneous remarks, is a reporter from the Rural News Center. Some other self-media channels edited and reposted Zhang Ouya’s Weibo content as if he was a chief reporter from Hubei Daily, which was an incorrect identification. Zhang Ouya’s authentication on his personal Weibo page is “Director of Chutian Metropolis News”, which was his previous position when he worked at Chutian Metropolis News. Zhang Ouya’s inaccurate remarks on his personal Weibo page exposed a weak link in our employee’s disciplinary education and personal media management. Therefore, we learned a very profound lesson. We will reflect deeply on this and duly correct it. 

First, we will emphasize that all personnel must improve their political standing once again. Furthermore, we will ensure that we show a deep understanding that the prevention and control of the “new pneumonia” is a major, tough battle that must be won. It is a major event that relates to people’s lives, their health, and the development of Wuhan. Moreover, all levels of Hubei Daily Media Group must strictly implement the provincial and municipal measures and requirements. Thus, we will use all forces to do a good job of epidemic prevention, publicity report control, and public opinion guidance.

Second, we will ensure that all employees’ personal Weibo pages, WeChat, and other self-media friend-circles shall not publish or forward depraved information and unverified material by a media report. Thus, individuals will only spread positive energy that assembles everyone into a united “Chorus”.

Third, we will strengthen team management and enforce strict discipline. The Group has started relevant procedures, in which any incident will be handled in a timely and disciplined manner, to deepen the education of prevention. This will fundamentally strengthen our team’s discipline style and construction, to prevent and control similar events from happening from any source in the future.

CCP Hubei Daily Media Group Committee

January 24, 2020

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