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Viewers praise news facelift

(Global Times)

14:15, September 27, 2011

The debut of two young anchors on one of the world's most viewed news program Xinwen Lianbo or News Broadcast Sunday night was well received by public, but reforms on the program are still insufficient, as its basic style and content structure have remained unchanged for three decades, experts say.

With the appearance of Ouyang Xiadan, 34, and Lang Yongchu, 40, Xinwen Lianbo has changed its look, while the more colloquial and informal style of presentation brings a more intimate feel.

The logo for the program has been changed to a 3D style, with subtitles and the dominant hue changed into a brighter blue.

"Xinwen Lianbo's style change might attract more viewers, but not many. As an influential news program, it does not play the role of broadcasting diverse views but is always a speaker of a single voice," Yu Guoming, a professor of media studies at the Beijing-based Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Monday.

"I hope Xinwen Lianbo does change some content in the future," Yu said. "This program should make itself a proper news hawk show for Chinese people, which means it should broadcast good and bad news to viewers. It should be a purveyor of balanced viewpoints."

Xinwen Lianbo, a 30-minute daily news program by CCTV, has been broadcast since 1978. It is shown simultaneously by most television channels at 7 pm on the Chinese mainland, making it one of the world's most watched television programs. With the broadcast of the latest remarks and activities of senior leaders, the program has also been widely seen as a Chinese political weathervane.

"I am supportive of the new version. The look is international. This program is an authoritative news program and therefore its adjustment will help draw more people to the program," Tang Zhongke, a postgraduate student with the Beijing-based Communications University of China (CUC), told the Global Times.

Lang Yongchun and Ouyang Xiadan, former news broadcasters in other programs on CCTV, gained the positions through the station's internal selection process.

According to a vote organized by the Sina Weibo, 77 percent of around 600 Web users favor the appearance of two new anchors.

"However, Xinwen Lianbo's content remains unchanged with positive reports outweighing more than negative ones," said Tian Yuzheng, a university student in Beijing, adding that with innovation of more and more other news programs, Xinen Lianbo would only lose its audience unless making massive changes.

Xu Fan, a professor at television programs with CUC, told the Shanghai Morning Post the reason for Xinwen Lianbo's change in its style rather than content was because of its unique function, but such a slight change was not at all easy for the program.

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