SHENYANG, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China's press watchdog blacklisted nearly one hundred media workers in 2009 for illegal deeds like bribery and blackmail, with more than 20 journalists convicted of offenses.
According to Li Dongdong, deputy head of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), more than ten newspapers nationwide, including the Beijing Times and the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald, received warnings or were suspended for rectification for publishing false reports in 2009.
The figures came after reports in late March that nine journalists from eight media organizations had received jail sentences - ranging from one-and-half year to 16 years - for taking hush money to cover up a deadly coal mine accident in north China.
They accepted money from the owner of a coal mine in Weixian County, Zhangjiakou City, in northern China's Hebei Province, in return for not reporting an explosion that killed 35 people on July 14, 2008.
The GAPP will strengthen supervision and management of media organizations that have repeatedly violated rules, Li said Wednesday at a nationwide meeting here on the management of newspapers and periodicals.
The GAPP dealt with 556 cases - including 76 instances of journalists taking bribes or blackmailing others - in 2009 after receiving tipoffs from the public.
Li said authorities will step up punishment of media workers involved in false stories and bribery, vowing to make public any major cases that are confirmed.