China’s Media Investment In Africa Shows Leadership And Raises Questions

22 July 2013 13 h 02 min Comments Off

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The new China Central Television (CCTV) tower hardly visible as fog covers most of Beijing on March 17, 2012. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

Note: This opinion post by a member of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership community of students and faculty does not represent the view of the school or everyone in the school.

(Forbes, 22 Jul, 2013) It’s a media paradox when countries with the deepest pockets to hire journalists and open new Radio and TV stations also don’t see press freedom as a virtue.

Yes. We are talking about China. And others.

But let’s suspend judgment for a moment and take a look at the leadership and strategy that China is exercising in media. Their leadership is a challenge to other countries to step up the game in soft power. It also brings a challenge to China of producing independent, quality journalism that people will respect.

Yu-Shan Wu has been tracking the rise of Chinese media companies in Africa as a researcher at the Global Powers and Africa Programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs in Johannesburg South Africa. She has compiled a telling list of 45 instances where Chinese media companies (link or attached) are expanding their presence in emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia but also in media hubs such as New York and Washington DC.

A Kenyan in Nairobi can now get news from – in addition to the BBC and Al-Jazeera – China Radio International and the China Central Television, or CCTV. In 2012, CCTV built it first international broadcast hub in Nairobi. A Kenyan might also see articles from the Chinese state news agency,Xinhua, showing up in their local newspaper (at no charge to the local newspaper).

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Source: Forbes

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