Dec 12, 2013 04:57 PM

Two More Journalists Held over Bribe-Taking


Xiong Xiong, an editor at Beijing Youth Daily

(Beijing) – Two journalists have been detained in the capital for taking money to run false stories, as the country's media and public relations industries continue to grapple with scandals.

Xiong Xiong, editor of the technology news department at the Beijing Youth Daily, was detained for allegedly taking hundreds of thousands of yuan in bribes.

A source from the newspaper said Xiong has worked there for 14 years and covered the IT field for more than a decade. He led a three-person team working on a weekly special edition until June 2012. The team had a lot of editorial independence, the source said.

"Many people know that he accepts money (for reporting)," the source said.

The country's media and PR industries have been in the spotlight since October, when Chen Yongzhou, a reporter for the New Express newspaper in the southern city of Guangzhou, was detained. Chen admitted he took money to run stories that hurt the reputation of Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development Co. Ltd., which makes heavy equipment.

It has never been made clear who paid Chen, nor has any evidence been offered besides his jailhouse confession, which was aired on national television.

A month later, three reporters went on trial in the eastern city of Hangzhou for taking bribes from PR firms to publish articles. They face up to 15 years in jail each. No verdict has been announced.

The scandals have also ensnared the PR industry, which often serves as an intermediary between media companies and those who for a range of reasons wish to see misleading stories in the news.

The other journalist detained the capital is Yang Kairan, the editor of the automobile news section for of the Jinghua Times. He was taken into custody in August.

The investigation into Yang grew to include to several reporters and PR companies, several sources close to the situation said.

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