China orders TV stations to be ‘ethically inspiring’
Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Broadcasting authorities in China will allow television stations to air only “ethically inspiring” programmes in prime time from next month, state media reported today.

“The country’s satellite TV stations should only screen ethically inspiring TV series during prime time, which reflect the reality of China in a positive way,” Xinhua news agency quoted Wang Weiping, vice director of the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), as saying. Programmes will be vetted by SARFT and Communist Party publicity officials to ensure compliance, he said, and the restrictions will last for at least eight months. ”The restrictions will ensure a better environment,” Wang added.

The report did not give a reason for the new policy, but Xinhua quoted online media reports as saying it would be imposed with an eye on the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party, expected later this year. Important political meetings are often preceded by edicts aimed at cleaning up anything considered undesirable. Past SARFT measures include bans on foreign cartoons during prime time and on “vulgar” reality shows.

(Source: AFP)