The Guangdong Television News Channel will make the full switch from Cantonese to Putonghua in September, sparking speculation that Cantonese will soon be marginalized, TVB reported Thursday.
Hourly news programs between 9am and 5pm have already made the change with new Putonghua hosts, but other news programs and advertisements continue to use Cantonese.
The whole channel is likely to change to Putonghua for all programs, TVB reported, citing independent Guangzhou news website GZNF.net.
TVB reported mixed views on the move.
“I like listening to news in Cantonese because that’s what we use to communicate and we are afraid of being taken over by Putonghua,” TVB quoted a Guangzhou resident as saying.
But others agreed that “using Putonghua is normal as the whole country is using it”.
Guangdong Television (GDTV) was at the center of a similar debate four years ago when Guangzhou residents protested over GDTV plans to use Putonghua on all of its channels.
After that, the Guangdong authorities announced in December 2011 that government departments, educational institutes and media should use Putonghua instead of dialects. A government spokesperson soon added that the rules were not aimed against Cantonese.
TVB quoted Han Zhipeng, a member of the Guangzhou Municipal Chinese People’s Political and Consultative Conference, as saying that there should not be as much objection this time because Putonghua will only be used on one channel while the others will keep using Cantonese.
GDTV has yet to officially comment on the issue.
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