Chinese Regulator: Foreign News Programs Threaten Communist Party Propaganda Efforts

August 18, 2005

The People's Daily has published an interview with Zhu Hong, the head of China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, in which Zhu discusses new regulations on foreign television programs in China. Some excerpts:

  • SARFT has formulated the "Regulations on the Administration of the Introduction and Broadcast of Foreign Television Programs," (Order 42) which includes the following provisions: 1. All foreign television programs other than those relating to education, science, and culture are to be brought within the scope of regulation, and foreign television dramas and other television programs are to be administered based on category. 2. Businesses utilizing satellite transmission to introduce foreign television programs will be brought within the scope of regulation.
  • Foreign current event news programs cannot be introduced, and this is a fundamental principle set forth in Order 42 . . . news propaganda programs are the mouthpiece of the Communist Party and the government, and shoulder the responsibility of spreading the Party's voice to every household, and China's voice around the world. Therefore we must keep news and other programs that embody ideology firmly within our grasp.
  • According to the rules of Order 42, foreign television dramas may not be broadcast during prime time, which is between seven and ten in the evening.
  • Following [government] approval, foreign television programs may only be used as source materials, and cannot be broadcast in their entire, original condition. All foreign channel logos and related writing, as well as media channel advertisements must be eliminated. [Broadcasters] should pay attention to the orientation of programs' general values, as well as their particulars, and filter out words and scenes that are not suited to China's situation, or that might harm the health of China's youth.