The words of newly appointed director of Central China Television Hu Zhanfan recently sent a shiver down the spine of China’s state journalists: “Some CCTV news workers have not categorized themselves as the Party’s propaganda workers, instead they categorize themselves as professional journalists. This is a fundamental error,” he said.
Hu took up his position two weeks ago, and since then Chinese web users have circulated remarks he has made about over 10-thousand times on microblog services.
“Some people think that emphasizing the nature of the Party and (CCTV’s) function as its mouthpiece will influence the objectivity of the news reports and how we accord to the rules of journalism in handling matters… this is a big mistake and is very one-sided,” he said in an address, later published in an article by the state-run Xinhua News Agency
Hu was speaking at an event hosted by the China National Media Association in May, but only after he became director of CCTV did the Chinese public dig up his prior remarks.
One blogger writes: “This clearly tells the public: CCTV doesn’t do news, it does propaganda.”
Another had some advice for China’s Press and Publication Administration: “They should take back CCTV reporters’ press IDs and issue them with propaganda worker IDs.”
Former China News Service reporter Gao Yu told NTD that Hu was picked for his willingness to cooperate with the regime.
[Gao Yu, Former China News Service Reporter]: “The Central Propaganda Department instructs the heads of the various departments to do things this way, and it requires them to do things this way. Its requirements for selecting people are: who can serve us as an obedient tool? Who will say ‘our media serves the part?’ They will choose those kinds of people.”
The Chinese regime is currently embarking on a ‘soft-power’ drive with a $7.1-billion dollar fund for the development of state-run media outside the country. CCTV plans to open studios in North America and Africa and has done prominent advertising in Times Square in New York.