Galas canceled in reform move

Updated: 2014-01-22 08:18

(China Daily)

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Three of the four widely watched Spring Festival TV galas - sponsored by the ministries of public security, culture, and civil affairs - will be canceled this year as part of the Party's efforts to reduce extravagance and fight corruption. Although many viewers do not agree with the move, they should understand the importance of and support the reform measure, says an article in Xi'an Evening News. Excerpts:

The three galas aired by China Central Television for more than two decades had become a part of Spring Festival celebrations. The three were characterized by their focus on the inseparable relationship between the military, police and the people, shows performed by famous artists, and other well-coordinated and -choregraphed programs.

In the 1980s and 1990s, watching TV programs at home became a welcome form of entertainment during the Chinese New Year. And given that few TV programs were made at that time, various government departments produced their own galas to meet people's growing recreational needs, and create a happy holiday atmosphere. But now that there is a surfeit of entertainment channels, there is no need for four extravagant TV shows for the same occasion.

Many local-level Spring Festival galas blindly pursue pomp and self-indulgence by inviting big showbiz stars to outperform rival TV stations. This is a waste of funds that could be used to improve people's livelihoods or help the needy. Moreover, it is likely that a lot of money illegally change hands during the making of such programs given the lack of proper supervision.

That's why we should support the Party's decision to cancel the three galas. It might be a good idea to focus attention on presenting a comprehensive state-of-the-art Spring Festival feast for the national audience on CCTV. Such a program could also serve as a good example for local-level administrations to minimize extravagance.