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China: New news anchors for a new decade

As with many mainstays of Chinese Communist Party infrastructure, the surreally socialist China Central Television (CCTV) faces an increasingly uphill battle against non-Party competitors. Viewers are increasingly drawn to privately-run television stations which dare to air many stories authorities would rather see ignored.

Factor in the growing numbers of—urban, educated—Chinese who choose the news offered by large portal sites such as Sina or Sohu and it's no wonder so many CCTV news presenters often have stone-cold faces. Or maybe announcing the same ideologically correct stories for two or three decades will do that to a person.

In a move welcomed across the country, two smiling new anchorpersons took their seats earlier this week in announcing CCTV's primetime nightly national news broadcast.

CCTV\'s Li Zimeng and Kang Hui

Here's what Bokee blogger KangKang had to say:



谁该做央视新闻联播主播?

Who should be doing CCTV's News Broadcast news anchoring?

昨天在一个饭局上,刚好央视播音员胥午梅在座。她透露说央视新闻联播换了新播音员了。男的是康辉,女的是李梓萌。哈哈,这两个还真是选出的好苗子。

At a dinner party last night, it just happened that CCTV announcer Xu Wumei (胥午梅) was there. She mentioned that CCTV News Broadcast had just changed to two new announcers. The man is Kang Hui (康辉) and the woman is Li Zimeng (李梓萌). Ha. These two younglings are a great pick.

实际上,可以上新闻联播的女播音员,除了李梓萌外,还有杨晨和胥午梅,她们两个实际上都是播音语速比较快,音质比较中性的。不失为播音员的好选择。

Actually, of the women who could have been News Broadcast announcers, aside from Li Zimeng there's also Yang Chen (杨晨) and Xu Wumei, both of whom speak very quickly when announcing and with a very neutral tone. Choices for announcer one wouldn't go wrong with.

但央视太过保守,新闻联播播音员恨不得10年也不换,把几个播音员累得够呛,还把观众给累得审美疲劳了。

But CCTV is too conservative; even after ten years News Broadcast announcers still won't be changed, wearing out both the announcers and the viewers.

比如杨晨,我就喜欢。大眼睛,刚上新闻播音的时候,似乎很紧张。但这几年下来,跟康辉一起成长,很是不错。李梓萌,也是我常在中午看电视所致,他的节目看了很多。国际时讯,文化播报的内容也很好看,觉得很熟悉,虽然她经常眨巴着眼睛,晃动着脑袋,至少上新闻联播代替老面孔是足够了。

Yang Chen, for example, who I happen to like. With such big eyes, when she first starting announcing the news it seemed she was very nervous. But over these past few years she's really come into her own, along with Kang Hui. Li Zimeng is also a reason I often watch the news at noon; I've seen a lot of her programs. International Update, Culture Bulletin, shows with great content and with which I'm quite familiar. Although she often blinks and shakes her head, at least the old news broadcast faces have been replaced.

胥午梅,也没问题。96-97年将近有一年时间,只能中午看电视,最习惯的是胥午梅和郎永纯的声音了。每天中午的新闻30分,这两位播音员的变化也是有目共睹的。胥午梅以前留个刘海头,现在变得短而蓬松的发型,10年变化真大。郎永纯更是,一副大眼镜,声音很特别。都可上新闻联播。

Xu Wumei is okay too. For almost all of 1996-7 I could only watch the news at noon, and the voices I was most used to were those of Xu Wumei and Lang Yongchun (郎永淳). The changes seen in the announcers of the daily half-hour news are clear to all. Xu Wumei used to have bangs, but has changed now to a short and puffy hairdo. A lot has changed in ten years. Especially with Lang Yongchun, the big pair of glasses, that very special voice. All can be seen on News Broadcast.

我觉得新闻联播播音员,最主要的不是业务水平,而是看起来更像播音员才对。上面说到的这几位,是真正的播音员的料子。他们不播音,似乎还真找不到适合他们的角色。虽然胥午梅自称唱京剧不错。哈哈。

With the News Broadcast announcers, I think the most important isn't their vocational ability, but whether or not they look the way news announcers should. The people I mentioned above are true announcers through and through. Now that they're no longer announcing, it seems they cannot find roles which suit them. Although Xu Wumei sings a mean Beijing Opera. Ha ha.

While the oft-read KangKang's post didn't garner many comments, much more a conversation could be seen at controversial Sina blogger He Weifang's (贺卫方) post on the same subject:


一对新主持人总算出来

A pair of new anchorpersons finally comes

昨天,央视新闻联播终于换了两位新鲜的主持人,我在网上看到很多的反响。尽管有关部门说这跟两会期间由政协委员提出让某些年纪太大、“在位”时间太久的主持人下课无关,但是许多人还是希望像邢质斌那样的几十年如一日的老面孔早些退出。不过,我今天特意留意了一下新闻联播的开头,居然邢老太太又披挂上阵了。虽然表情有些不自然,但是还是让人感到一种“烈士暮年,壮心不已”的豪情,以及老娘就是不下课,你拿我如何的气度!

Yesterday, CCTV News Broadcast finally changed to two fresh anchorpersons; I've seen a lot of buzz on the internet. Although the related departments say this has nothing to do with representatives of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference proposing during Liang Hui for certain older anchorpersons too long ‘on set’ to be recalled, many people still hope that decades-old faces like Xing Zhibin had left earlier. Today, however, I made sure to catch the beginning of News Broadcast. Seems old lady Xing has put on her suit of armor. Although her facial expressions are a bit unnatural, one can still feel a sort of ‘old age martyr, strong hearts never stop’ heroism. Now that the old woman won't be stepping down, let's see how long we can bear it!

有人居然拿西方电视台常有老资格主持人作说辞,替我们的诸老辩护,这完全混淆了不同类型电视的差异。我们的主持人就是一个传声筒,他们就是播音员,根本不需要有任何思想的。既然如此,还不如干脆就是把它设计成青春职业,让帅哥美妹轮流上阵,起码在主持人这个环节上让大家有一种“养眼”的感觉,这也许是提高新闻联播的收视率唯一招数了。

Some people have used the tendency of western television states to use older anchorpersons as an excuse to protect ours. This completely confuses the differences between different types of television. Our anchorpersons are just a microphone; they're just announcers, no need at all for any thinking. That said, even better would be to make this a more youthful occupation, let attractive men and women have their turn. At least allow people feel the anchorpersons are easier on the eyes. This might just be a strategic move towards increasing viewers of Broadcast News.

所以,还是建议邢同志下课吧,人之患在于恋棧惹厌,人之可贵在能够急流勇退。

That's why I suggest Comrade Xing step down. Her worries lie in provoking hostility, choicest option lies in quitting while ahead.

另外还建议,可以考虑更频繁地更换播音员,例如每月全部更换一次,让全国的美少年都有机会在那里亮相。不妨与其他节目例如超级女声互动,让李宇春、张靓影们都有机会一展身手。

Another suggestion would be to continually change the announcers. Replace them all each month, for example, and give youth nationwide a chance to appear on camera. Might even work with other programs like Super Girl, give Li Yuchun or Zhang Liangying chances to show their talents too.

Comments

贺老师,还是要“慢慢地着急”,保重自己的身体,身体是革命的本钱啊。别和这些人计较了,是谁都一样,反正中央台的节目除了体育外,都是垃圾,没人看的。

…[a]ctually, aside from sports, CCTV programs are all trash, nobody watches them

新闻联播?N年没有看啦,我们广东这边可以说几乎没有人看。香港那么丰富的电视节目和资讯信息,还会有人看那白 痴新闻联播吗?

News Broadcast? Haven't seen it for several years now. Here in Guangdong practically nobody watches it. Hong Kong, with such an abundance of television programs and information updates, does anybody really watch that idiotic News Broadcast anymore?

我从不看新闻联播,不过换了现面孔,也可以去养养眼,时间长了仍会觉审美疲劳,还是经常换换吧,免得我都把新闻联播的事给忘了,咳!!!更郁闷的是我家里这边连凤凰卫视台都不给转播了。

I've never watched News Broadcast, but after changing to these current faces it might be easier on the eyes. Too long a time and it feels worn out, might as well keep changing and stop me from forgetting about News Broadcast altogether. Agh! The most depressing of all is that we can't even get Pheonix TV from where I live.

不过话说回来,感觉新闻联播换主持人和当下的年轻人关系不太大了。我以及我周围的朋友没谁还看新闻联播的,晚上7点时,大部分人还是趴在电脑前呢

But speaking of this, I feel the News Broadcast announcers don't mean much to youth today. Of me and my friends, nobody watches News Broadcast. By seven every night most of us are hunched in front of our computers.

在这点上不同意贺先生的意见,央视固然是党的喉舌,但是新闻联播这样一档王牌节目的主持人还是需要一些老面孔的,而且也给人一种安全和稳定之感。由于新闻不是是娱乐,所以应该严格和超级女生这样的商业媒体形式区别开来——就好像料理中既需要海鲜又需要蔬菜一样!

On this point I don't agree with Mr. He's views. There's no doubt that CCTV is The Party's mouthpiece, but grade-A programs like News Broadcast still needs a few old faces around. It will give people a sense of safety and stability. News is not entertainment, that's why there should be a strict differentiation between it and commercial media images like Super Girls—just like sushi needs both seafood and vegetables!
  • http://www.panasianbiz.com G. Stolyarov II

    Thank you for the interesting post.

    Competition from private entities might gradually lead the Party networks to change their basic approach and be socialist in name only. In the age of cable television and the Internet, it is virtually impossible to suppress dissenting and competing views—though the Chinese government has tried. If the Party wishes to retain popularity among the Chinese people, it will need to gradually begin to liberalize its policies—including its approach toward the media.

    I am
    G. Stolyarov II

    For interesting discussions of current events and business in China, see ZhongHuaRising: http://www.zhonghuarising.com

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