China's media regulators have told local television stations they are not allowed to use video footage from foreign sources for news bulletins.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has decreed that local broadcasters can only use international news reports provided by the state-run China Central Television and China Radio International.

The watchdog is also demanding that TV drama productions about "major or sensitive issues" must get official approval. On the sensitivity list are political, military and religious themes.

The move is part of an ongoing crackdown on the country's media. The General Administration of Press and Publication announced two weeks ago a ban on the launch of Western influenced lifestyle magazines [WAMN: 10-Apr-06].

Last year the Communist government issued new restrictions on foreign investment in satellite TV and other media ventures with the aim of defending "national cultural security".

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff