Viewers of stodgy state-run television were in for a surprise this week when they tuned in to the 7 p.m. news. In place of stone-faced anchors reading dry news reports, a mainstay of the CCTV network for decades, they were treated to two young, smiling faces.
The change Monday reflects growing concern by the Communist Party that its core evening broadcast is losing influence, particularly among young people bypassing its political sloganeering and party line “news” in favor of the Internet, DVDs and livelier privately run stations with their rich diet of practical consumer news and racy entertainment.
CCTV’s decision to present the thirtysomething anchors on a trial basis in the nation’s preeminent newscast won some early plaudits Tuesday, with clips of the show ” featuring female anchor Li Zimeng sporting shoulder-length hair and male Kang Hui with a crew cut and dark suit ” picked up and rebroadcast over the Internet. [Full Text]