Press credentials were granted to the employees of news website on Friday, giving interview and reporting rights to online media for the first time.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT)issued press cards to the first group of 594 reporters from 14 "major central news portals," including the authorized Chinese government portal, official websites of People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency and the portal for Tibet. The employees of commercial news portals such as Sina and Sohu were not included. "The press card is the same as that held by traditional media.
Card holders enjoy the same reporting rights, responsibilities and obligations," CAC spokesperson Jiang Jun said at a the ceremony.
The two authorities will continue to issue the cards to qualified and experienced reporters of online media until the end of 2016, he said.
China previously banned websites from reporting on news, only allowing them to edit and publish news from traditional media. Despite this, there had been a trend for websites to follow up their own stories, interview sources and released news in their names.
The move will help regulate interviews and editing, improve writer's abilities and push their transformation to "strongholds for online news publicity," said SAPPRFT deputy director Wu Shangzhi.
Professional training will be offered to the online media reporters, according to the CAC.