CCTV host detention sends alarm to social elites

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-14 23:48:03

Celebrity China Central Television (CCTV) anchor and business journalist Rui Chenggang was suddenly taken away by prosecutors on Friday. This is the most striking event since Guo Zhenxi, director of CCTV2, the business channel, was detained on suspicion of taking bribes in early June. Rui is one of the most prominent CCTV anchors and many younger people look up to him as an idol. The impact of his detention is no smaller than that of the fall of a provincial-level official.

It sends a clear signal that corruption doesn't only occur in the ranks of officialdom, but also among those holding other resources and power. From the director, to show producers and anchors, many from the business channel have undergone probes. Many such cases occur in institutions where political power is centralized.

Business media and business sections in media outlets have been quite popular in recent years. The reason is that they are closely associated with enterprises and hold a great deal of profit-making resources and power. Abuse of power is commonplace. Some illegitimate interests approach the media and some individuals have gained extra benefits.

The more power one holds, the more severe the impact of his corruption is. The discipline of CCTV is supposed to be stricter than some marketized business media outlets, but the power it holds is also much more than other media.

Corruption exists in every aspect of society from sports to media to university enrollment. The ever-widening anti-corruption campaign into officialdom seems to be just the starting point of a clean Chinese society, but necessary anti-corruption efforts still need to be made.

What has happened to Rui is regrettable. He is young and has a promising future. He has exceeded his peers, and many Chinese young people dreamt of being like him.

It is unknown whether Rui was aware that he had done something murky. Some reports alleged that Rui used a public relations firm established by family members to extract benefits. If such reports are accurate, did he know that such behavior was illegal? Perhaps he believed he was in a gray area where some seek personal gains by exploiting their positions. But the anti-corruption campaign not only targets "black holes," but also gray areas. This is an unavoidable trend.

The graft crackdown will extend to every field that involves power. This is not only a political reform, but a reform to social governance. Our understanding of power and interpersonal relations may change as well.

Posted in: Observer

blog comments powered by Disqus