‘Death row show’ gets the axe

A Chinese television show which interviews prisoners awaiting the death penalty has been cancelled.

The controversial program had run for 5 years and was a popular slot on Chinese Television, with viewer ratings in the millions. The cancellation comes after a deluge of recent criticism from foreign media, which condemned the show for being cruel and exploitative.

However the shows presenter Ding Yu, disputes this assessment. She claims the prisoners “want to be heard,” but had not been willing to talk about “past events” to people in prison. The production team claimed the show was designed to serve as a warning to the public, highlighting the consequences of criminality.

But in spite of defending its motives, the state owned Henan Legal Channel have made the decision to permanently end the show. The decision precedes a BBC documentary about the controversial show, this will be broadcast tonight and will be followed by a similar program on PBS.