Chinese state TV CCTV launches American service

10 February 2012 13 h 12 min Comments Off

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV is launching its American service this week as part of a major overseas expansion aimed at boosting China’s international influence.

CCTV said Wednesday that Washington-based CCTV America will offer four hours of programming daily. It said content will be produced by about 100 journalists working out of 15 bureaus in North and South America.

CCTV America’s initial lineup will feature a business and finance program, Biz Asia America, a panel show called The Heat, and a magazine program, Americas Now.

This month, the network is also opening a studio in Nairobi, Kenya, and is starting to hire journalists and technical staff around the globe.

The CCTV International channel will target an audience of more than 100 million in 120 countries, competing for viewers with the likes of BBC, CNN, and Qatar’s Al-Jazeera. This expansion aims to counter negative images of China, especially over issues such as human rights, one-party communist rule, and Beijing’s policies in the restive western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet.

The channel is facing critics about its high state control.

“We consider accuracy, objectivity, truthfulness, and public accountability more important than anything else. We will strive to provide good journalism, high quality television, and alternative views,” CCTV America Director General Ma Jing was quoted as saying in the statement.

In order to compete against the other international news newtwork, CCTV America managed to attract ex-Bloomberg Television anchor Phillip Yin, former “60 Minutes” producer Barbara Dury, and veteran BBC correspondent Michael Voss, based in Havana, Cuba. BBC veterans will also join the staff in the Washington bureau, along with former employees of CNN, NBC, CBS, and Fox News. Two Chinese reporters are being posted from Beijing.

The launch of CCTV America is coming at a time of internal competition between Chinese state owned news operators.

In order to raise funds for overseas expansion, the television arm of China’s official Xinhua News Agency started its listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange last wednesday. The station, now known as CNC, launched Chinese and English-language channels in 2010, beaming them to near nearly 60 countries, including the U.S., Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Thailand, the company said.

Source: CCTV, CNTV, Xinhua, agencies (8 & 9/02/2012)

ON CSN:

. China’s broadcaster to expand overseas operations (ABC Radio)

. CCTV reaches 210 million households overseas (Tencent)

. Two new CCTV channels to launch on MHz in Washington DC

. China Central Television launches international video news service

. China’s Xinhua debuts 24-hour international english news channel

. The CCTV’s International news channel CCTV-9 is renamed CCTV News

 

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