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China to relax rules on foreign media during the Olympics

New York Times writes: “China announced temporary regulations on Friday loosening restrictions on foreign journalists, a step intended to fulfill the country’s promise to allow visiting reporters to work freely in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.”

Existing restrictions require that journalists obtain government approval before traveling or conducting interviews. Under the new rules, a foreign journalist will only need to obtain the permission of the person being interviewed. At the same time, Associated Press reports that “even as the rules were made public, however, a Chinese court affirmed a prison sentence for a Chinese reporter. The different signals underscore China’s mixed treatment of the media.”

The rules take effect on Jan. 1 and end Oct. 17, 2008.

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