Today, most newspapers in China feature the country’s slowing CPI growth rate on the front page. CPI (Consumer Price Index) is the primary measure of inflation in China, and the fact that it is slowing suggests China’s economy is in fact slowing down. The June CPI grew by only 2.2 % compared to the CPI for this period last year, which is the slowest rate China has seen in 29 months. The Chongqing Economic Times said this offers a perspective on China’s economy as a whole and the fact that the central bank suddenly cut interest rates last weekend suggests the slowdown in economic growth may be more serious than the government expected.
Meanwhile the Oriental Guardian decided to take a different direction and dedicated their front page to a large photo of a Michelangelo’s “David Apollo” statue (the less famous “David”) with a television set over his penis, pixilating the image. The headline reads “You can see it in a museum, but not on TV.” The article describes how last night the CCTV News Channel aired a television broadcast called “Beijing Century Celebration: Masterpieces of the Renaissance,” in which they pixilated the penises of Michelangelo’s masterpieces.
The broadcast was in honor of the China National Museum’s 100-year anniversary, and the censorship of nudity immediately triggered controversy: one online commentator complained that pixilating the images showed a lack of respect for great works of art, while another argued that these statues from Ancient Greece and the European Renaissance reflect an aesthetic that is mainstream in the United States but not in China. This person believed it was wrong for a public channel to show nudity in the first place.
The reporter also spoke with the Producer of the CCTV program, who said he censored the private parts because he believed those images would have “a negative impact on the audience’s emotions.”
The article notes that by the time the paper was going to print, CCTV had removed the pixilation from future airings of the show. It did not offer any explanation for this change.