China’s journalists will be tested next month on how well they know Marxism and President Xi Jinping, according to The South China Morning Post. The paper’s report details that “nationwide exams” will be administered to over 10,000 journalists working for state-run media outlets.
This isn’t China’s first crackdown on truth-telling. They’ve done it before when reporters asked questions about religious liberties, for example. The government continues to deny any imprisonment of Uighur Muslims. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it an attempt “to erase” other cultural and religious groups. They call it “re-education,” however many journalist have exposed the camps for committing grave humanitarian crimes.
The Chinese government will administer this new test via an app called Xuexi Qiangguo. Initially, all journalists were required to register and download the application however, many complained and it is no longer compulsory. Those still using the app are “studying” up on communist China.If a journalist fails the exam he or she will not receive press credentials to report in China.
The test is about loyalty to government and not to truth. According to the 2019 Reporters Without Border’s World Press Freedom Index, China ranks 177 out of 180 countries. The report establishes that President Xi Jinping’s government “imposes a social model” on journalists. Moreover, the report cites over 60 journalists that are “currently detained” by the state.