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Cometh the hour, cometh the women

Updated: 2023-11-24 08:12 ( CHINA DAILY )
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Audience members at the salon listen to discussions about how the show was started.CHINA DAILY

This award-winning TV program used its platform to reveal the challenges women faced, and to show the diversity of the female experience in China. It also effectively amplified the voices of ordinary people.

The pioneering program aired for over a decade until 2010.

Thirteen years later, Zhang, who retired from the China Media Group last year, participated in the planning of a new women-focused program titled First Person Plural.

The purview of the show, which began airing last month on the streaming platform Youku, is to explore issues facing today's women, as well as wider interests and subjects that resonate with them. It also seeks to broaden viewers' understanding of the world through female perspectives and discussion.

In the late 1990s, Ren Changzhen, the new talk show's director, was an intern on the production team of Half the Sky, where she became friends with Zhang.

Ren studied documentary film-making in university, and has directed films, television shows and documentaries. Notably, she served as the chief executive director for the first season of the hit documentary series A Bite of China.

When Ren decided to start a talk show, her immediate thought was to reach out to Zhang.

Zhou Yijun, who has a background as a former war correspondent and documentary director, is the new hour-long show's host.

When explaining the show's name, First Person Plural, Zhou offers her interpretation, saying, "Our societal discussions constitute a collective plural, but each person's expression is in the first person — it's personal".

During preparations, Zhang, Ren and Zhou initiated a brainstorming session to come up with possible topics for the talk show.

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