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Officials grilled on TV over job conduct

Updated: 2016-04-08 08:05
By Zhang Li in Nanning and Cao Yin in Beijing (China Daily)

A TV series in which officials are questioned about hot issues has turned its focus this year to corruption and poverty alleviation.

Nanning TV in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region plans to broadcast 10 episodes from March to December.

On March 27, top officials in four counties were questioned and given fly swatters as "gifts" from the audience.

"The fly swatters mean that unreasonable behavior by some grassroots officers has been found in the four counties, and the public hoped they would realize their mistakes and prevent corruption," said Zhou Jun, producer of the program, the Dianshi Wenzheng, or Questioning Officials on TV.

Since November 2012, China's leadership has conducted a nationwide crack-down on "tigers", the high-ranking corrupt officials, and "flies", the lower-ranked officials. "Our new program warns grassroots officers and suggests that their bosses improve supervision by sending them such gifts," Zhou said.

In February, disciplinary supervisors found officers in the four counties' government departments playing games, reading novels, watching videos, drinking beer or studying the stock market during work time.

"They recorded the behaviors on video and decided to expose it in our program," he said.

"It's the first time that our show has covered issues related to corruption and disciplinary supervision. Officials were usually questioned about their ignorance in dealing with administrative affairs in the past," Zhou said, adding that previous topics focused mainly on people's livelihoods, and issues such as food safety.

Thanks to the questioning on TV, 89 administrative problems involving 39 local government departments were solved in 2015, a statement said.

"The program has become a bridge between residents and officials, playing its role in government supervision, as well as increasing interaction between the public and the government," he said.

Media questioning has also been seen in Hubei province.

Yang Weidong, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, applauded the questioning on TV, saying that the exposure can motivate officials to improve.

But he said that such questioning should be also regulated, "as how to put officials' responses into practice is more important than the show."

Contact the writers at caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn

 Officials grilled on TV over job conduct

Officials of four counties in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region show the fly swatters they received as gifts from the audience during a TV series on March 27. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 04/08/2016 page5)

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