BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court on Thursday jailed the former president of a major Chinese news organization for four years after finding him guilty of extortion and fraud.
Shanghai prosecutors last year arrested Shen Hao, president of 21st Century Media Ltd. and publisher of influential business daily 21st Century Business Herald, on counts of extortion, bribery and misappropriation of funds.
The Shanghai court found that Shen demanded money from companies in exchange for covering up bad news or for reporting positive stories, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Another newspaper executive, Le Bing, was given a two-year suspended jail term after being convicted of extortion, while Shen was also fined 60,000 yuan ($9,260), the report said.
Calls to the newspaper seeking comment were not answered.
A trend towards greater commercialization in Chinese media - still controlled heavily by the state - has put pressure on companies to generate greater profits.
The investigation into the 21st Century Business Herald came amid a crackdown at state broadcaster China Central Television, where some senior executives have also been targeted.
The government has vowed to crack down on corruption in many sectors including the media industry, as part of President Xi Jinping’s campaign against deep-rooted graft.
($1 = 6.48 yuan)
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie