The BBC airs an hour-long documentary tonight about "Interviews Before Execution," a hit talk show in China in which host Ding Yu interviews prisoners on death row. Some 40 million viewers in China tune in to the show each week.
Days, hours, or minutes before they are killed, the host talks inside prison to those who have been condemned to die. The BBC doc combines clips from the show with "never-before-seen footage of China's death row," and includes an interview with a local judge who questions the future of the death penalty in China.
More about the documentary, from the BBC website:
To Western eyes the show's format may seem exploitative, but Ding disagrees.
"Some viewers may consider it cruel to ask a criminal to do an interview when they are about to be executed. On the contrary, they want to be heard," she says.
"Some criminals I interviewed told me: 'I'm really very glad. I said so many things in my heart to you at this time. In prison, there was never a person I was willing to talk to about past events.'"
Interviews Before Execution was first broadcast on 18 November 2006 on Henan Legal Channel, one of 3,000 state-owned TV stations in China. Ding interviewed a prisoner every week until the programme was taken off air.
Exactly how many prisoners are executed each year in China? No one seems to know, but the number is estimated to be in the thousands. According to a 2011 Amnesty International report, China is number one in kill count among nations that use capital punishment. The USA is also in the top five, but with a 2010 count of 46 executions—a long way off from the top contender. Regarding China's use of the death penalty, Amnesty reports that "Thousands are believed to be executed every year," but "Authorities remain highly secretive about its use."
Related reading: ABC News, Daily Mail, NY Post, NYT/IHT.
PBS International has rights on a related documentary. No air date planned inside the US just yet, from what I understand.
It's very Idiocracy, or Network, no?
Sex in the City’s IMDB ranking is 7.0, slightly below average — but among women, it scores a hefty 8.1. Why is its overall score so low? Because men have given it an average rating of 5.8.
What do you do if you’re a giant corporation devoted to selling people huge, $100/month bundles of TV channels they don’t want anymore, but you also have a monopoly on selling high-speed Internet access, which they want very badly?
In 1991, The Simpsons episode called Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? aired, in which Homer becomes an auto-executive and designs a car that is used to show why American auto-manufacturing had failed: now you can own that car.
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]
If you or your company’s IT system are besieged by black hat cyber attacks, an ethical hacker might be all that stands between crippling damage and a company’s long-term prosperity. It’s no wonder that the market for IT security specialists is exploding. Certification is the key – so learn the tenets of ethical hacking and get […]
Your laptop and mobile devices are top of the line…so why are you trotting out that raggedy decades-old suitcase when you go somewhere? Time to up your travel game with a complete 5-piece Herschel Travel Luggage bundle…and we’ll even give it to you for free!Of course, you’ve got to win the Ultimate Herschel Travel Bundle […]