Leaked documents have shown that the Chinese government is planning on radically reducing the number of foreign television shows permitted to air within the nation, with the explicit motive of promoting more “morality-building” programs in their place. Stations will be limited to just one foreign program each, and are barred from airing foreign shows during prime time.
China has been turning its censorship-engines up to eleven lately, cracking down on everything from Weibo celebrities to Pleasant Goats. This turn against international TV, however, isn’t an attempt to silence political dissent or organization; instead, it’s part of a new, creepy, “moral” effort by the leading Party.
The “morality-building” mandate requires that at least 30% of station content include “public-interest programming such as documentaries, education and “morality-building” programs,” and “restrict the number of new musical talent shows to one every three months,” according to Reuters.
China’s government has always been censor-happy, but it was (thank god) not religiously/spiritually/morally motivated in its choices (not that censorship is ever Okay, but if the government wants to crackdown on political chatter, you can at least see what they think they’re doing).
These new restrictions, and their moralizing, “we know what’s good for you and it’s not dance shows,” mentality is hopefully not the beginning of a new censorship-epoch in which the nation’s media consumers are at the mercy of the moral reckonings of various corrupt bureaucrats. I have never felt such an attachment to violent cartoon goats and terrible karaoke shows.
[Image via Flickr]