Pearl River Economic Radio


Pearl River Economic Radio
Pearl River Economic Radio (PRER), launched on 15 December 1986, was at the forefront of the practitioner-led media reform of the 1980s that saw the introduction of livelier formats and a content that was depoliticized and had greater immediate relevance to everyday life. It clearly showed the commercial potential for depoliticized media production and is an example of how the market has changed Chinese media over the last two decades.
The station was born when Guangdong People’s Radio found its audience stripped away by the livelier, more relaxed and lifestyle-oriented radio stations broadcasting in Hong Kong and picked up, across the border, by the residents of the Pearl River Delta. The station obtained permission to relaunch its Cantonese-language station as PRER, which proved enormously popular with Guangdong audiences even in the face of stiff competition from Hong Kong broadcasters. The new pioneering format emulated the Hong Kong style, prioritizing what audiences wanted over government propaganda demands.
Subsequently, the station was copied by other mainland radio stations, both in the Pearl River Delta region and throughout the country. The example of PRER also demonstrates the rather unique position of Guangdong. The province has always had greater exposure to foreign media, particularly from and through Hong Kong, and has also been used as a laboratory for experimenting with more liberal media formats by the Chinese authorities.
See also: Nanfang Weekend; Yangcheng Evening News; radio (stations and content); satellite television
Zhao, Y. (1998). Media, Market, and Democracy in China: Between the Party Line and the Bottom Line. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
KEVIN LATHAM

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.