New television programs on military affairs and international news must be filed with government press regulators a month in advance of being broadcast, according to a recent document released by China's film and television watchdog amid its mounting efforts to oversee nation-wide TV programs.
Entertaining programs such as talent contests, galas, reality TV shows and overseas programs need to be filed two months in advance, according to a notice released by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) on December 29, 2017.
The notice could not be found on SAPPRFT's website but was discovered on the website belonging to the city of Zaozhuang's bureau of culture, radio, film, television press and publication in Shandong Province, which said it had received the notice from the provincial bureau.
All TV programs which have been warned or suspended cannot be broadcast again in any other form, including newly edited versions. They also cannot be shown on any internet platform, according to the notice.
The programs should insist on taste, style and social responsibility, and firmly resist vulgar content, the notice said.
"There has never been such a regulation before. The government has recently begun to make strict and independent regulations on programs that involve military affairs," Wang Sixin, a media law professor at Communication University of China, told the Global Times on Sunday.
"Producers of military and international news programs should be serious and cautious. The producers have to be responsible," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator told the Global times on Sunday.
Regulators want to make sure China's military can't be sabotaged by rumors that can disturb normal military activities, Wang said.
"The regulation does not mean such TV programs can't be produced, but they need to be approved by government departments," Song said.
"It is beneficial for the monitoring and managing of the programs," he noted.
SAPPRFT in August 2017 issued another notice, saying that the broadcast times of entertainment programs, such as variety shows and reality shows, should be regulated in order to contain the hyping of pop stars, the People's Daily said in a report on its WeChat account, adding that TV series involving sensitive topics should not be broadcast during prime time.