Posted on

CCTV–and backing up!

When I first started working on computers (yes, I remember those days, of XT computers and WordStar), someone in the industry told me that there were three rules I should never forget: Backup. Backup. Backup.

Today, especially with social networking platforms, we depend on others to backup for us, and on the stability of others’ systems. This blog, for example, is created using WordPress, and while we maintain the files, the WordPress system can affect what happens to our content. With other platforms, such as MySpace or Basecamp, our content is stored on someone else’s servers. Surprisingly, these platforms don’t usually provide a full, easy backup mechanism.

I’m writing about this because–as you might guess–I’ve lost a blog post. The lesson is to write them off-line, in Word, and then post to WordPress. Then I will have a backup if something goes wrong, on our server or otherwise. Trevor is going to try to locate the post I wrote last night–and which he read, so it did go up–and in the meantime I’m going to move on to another topic.

Yesterday I visited a TV studio, part of the national CCTV, where my friend Leo, whom I met in December in London, has worked for 25 years. We’re discussing various ways we might collaborate on educational projects (oddly enough, this is the second TV producer/director meeting I’ve had in Beijing), and I also had an introduction to the Chinese television networks. Here’s a summary, from my scribbled notes. It might not be 100% accurate but I think will give a fairly good picture of the current picture:

CCTV is the only television station in China, but it has 14 channels. The media here is largely operated under the auspices of government agencies. (That includes publishing, which is one reason that developing effective U.S.-China publishing partnerships is complicated; the drivers for a U.S. company are primarily financial, and that’s not necessarily the case for a Chinese company—which might be compared to a university press, in terms of its priorities.)

The 14 channels are as follows:

1. News and popular entertainment, with advertising; this channel produces over half the income of CCTV

2. Finance and business

3. Performance art

4. Programming for overseas Chinese

5. Sports

6. Feature films

7. Government agency presentations: military/defense; agriculture information; etc.

8. TV series—basically, soap operas

9. English language

10. Science, technology, history, and culture—documentaries and series

11. Peking opera

12. Law and legal advice

Apologies, I seem not to have got the last two! I was able to see various programs being edited, amongst them a program explaining the game of softball and a well-known interview program with famous “masters”—scholars, artists, and others. What I’ve been discussing with my Chinese colleagues is ways that this contemporary video content, as well as archival film material, might be combined with the content Berkshire develops to create multimedia products or programming. There are considerable challenges, but it’s certainly an intriguing prospect. I find myself wanting to show as well as tell, to give people a sense of what being in China is really like (and of course I have just begun to explore this subject), and film would be a wonderful way to do more of this.

One thought on “CCTV–and backing up!

  1. I received an anonymous comment, or clarification, about TV in China:

    > Btw, there are 30+ TV channels. CCTV – the China Central TV – is the
    > national TV channel, like CBC. Then each province and autonomous
    > city has their own. Most of them have national coverage via satellite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *