By David Bandurski – In the latest signal of support for state-promoted media commercialization, China’s broadcast minders announced today that they would “work toward raising and improving” the quality of China Central Television’s nightly national newscast, Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播), a key tool of state propaganda.


[ABOVE: Screenshot of coverage of Xinwen Lianbo‘s 30th anniversary and the program’s proposed makeover.]

According to an official release from China News Service citing the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, CCTV will establish an editorial department (编辑部) to actively plan news coverage (主动策划) rather than passively receive instructions from top propaganda authorities (被动接受), as is presently the case.
In line with the state policy of “Three Closenesses”, or san tiejin (三贴近), the release said the program was due for a “change in tone” (语态), making it more relevant and inviting to viewers. More decisions would be made according to “news value” (新闻价值), with thematic coverage, international news and “regular news” (一般新闻).
Despite the announcement and its forward-looking slogans, it is unlikely viewers will see a savvier, more commercially oriented Xinwen Lianbo any time soon.
The program, which enjoys a nationwide monopoly during its coveted primetime spot, remains a key vehicle for state propaganda, and top officials are sure to keep a tight grip on programming.
Thirty-year History of Xinwen Lianbo“, Xinhua News Agency online, January 29, 2008
Xinwen Lianbo-related release on official SARFT website
[Posted February 4, 2008, 11:17 am HK]

David Bandurski

CMP Director

Latest Articles