The All-China Journalists Association on Monday named and shamed three newspapers for publishing false reports.
In one case, a group sent by Beijing-based newspaper China Business Herald blackmailed multiple organizations while interviewing in west China's Qinghai Province in June, and released false stories online after failing to receive hush money.
In another case, Sanxiang City Express, a major paper based in central China's Hunan Province, published a story in May accusing officials in a local village of neglecting their duties and conspiring with mine owners whose operations destroyed all local farmland.
Follow-up investigations revealed abundant paddy fields in the village, with no evidence of dereliction of duty among local officials.
The third case involved Shenzhen Economic Daily, which published a series of stories on illegal hospital registration fees that mixed up key definitions while failing to interview a pivotal party.
"These media groups or reporters' behaviors seriously violated journalistic professional ethics...resulting in negative public influence while damaging the honor of journalists," the association said in a statement, without details on the punishments for violators.
The association urged media workers to draw lessons from the cases, and called on media groups to strengthen management and correctly balance social responsibilities and economic benefits.