Everybody knows that you can’t really present the news without comically gigantic LED screens, a huge sweeping studio, and hyper-polished metal. That’s why CCTV has gone and hired Jim Fenhagen—who designed the sets of the Colbert Report, Daily Show, NFL Today, and many others—to spruce up their lovely propaganda power-house.
The design update comes as CCTV prepares to launch its “International News Network,” a global Chinese-language TV news program devoted to everything other than Chinese government corruption, Tibet, and the like. CCTV’s international push apparently hinges on a Western-news appearance and a shit-load of money, as Fast Company discovered during an interview with Fenhagen:
The Chinese tapped Fenhagen and his crew after a global search for a team that could catapult their broadcast into the ranks of other international news leaders. “They wanted to be on a par with the BBC, CNN, and Sky News–to be cutting-edge, and to be an equal,” says Fenhagen back in New York after a grueling pre-New Year’s run-up to the project’s deadline. “Money wasn’t the defining issue. They wanted the most contemporary tools and an ‘international style,’ not a Chinese look.” […]
While cutting-edge technology was a goal, any overt Chinese design elements weren’t. “It took us a long time to figure out what they wanted,” says Fenhagen. “We offered them designs referencing Chinese culture, but they were rejected.”
It looks like we’ll be spared a anchor-desk shaped like a Ming-dynasty teapot, or watercolors in place of LEDs. CCTV’s global news network “for people who want to watch the news in Chinese, and from a perspective you won’t find on CNN,” will go live this spring.
[Image via Ent.QQ.Com]