Morning Sun

Living Revolution | Television

China's first television station began broadcasting in May 1958. There was only one channel, airing two to three hours of news, documentaries, entertainment, and educational programs a few times a week, starting at 7 PM. Approximately 26,000 television sets were produced and sold between 1958 and 1965, but private ownership was rare; television viewing was more of a collective activity.

During the Cultural Revolution, broadcasts were tightly controlled. Entertainment programs consisted of the revolutionary model operas, and news programs scrolled "Quotations from Chairman Mao" against a background of music praising Mao, or perhaps ran stories depicting the power of Mao Zedong Thought.

Narrator: "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, personally launched and led by our Great Chairman Mao, has achieved glorious success. Everywhere around our nation, revolutionary scenes seethe with activity. Everywhere shines the Golden Light of Mao Zedong Thought."

People Around the World Love Chairman Mao
China Central News and Documentary Film Studio, May 1967

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