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Chinese state TV (CCTV) focusing on 300 million Russian viewers.



2009, September 11


China's CCTV is broadcasting Russian-language programs to viewers across the former Soviet Union to counter "western bias" in the news media. This is part of an expansion of China's foreign language state media, which include, among others, programs in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. This appears to be part of a more wide-scale strategy to promote official Chinese views all over the world. As the British newspaper "The Guardian" suggests, the next logical step would be a Chinese version of CNN or al-Jayeera. China's authorities are concerned that western media would distort China's image in the world by reporting unfairly about riots in Tibet, food quality problems, epidemics (such as the Swine Flu), poor mining safety or unfair treatment of peasants.

Comment: Part of the problem with perceived unfair treatment of China in western media coverage is a cultural divide. Many Asians despise the confrontational and even "negative" attitudes of western journalists, who go by the slogan "bad news are good news". Asians seem to rather prefer harmonious propaganda than sharp debates and direct crtiticism. For many officials "loosing face" is more devastating than loosing credibility.



Ying Zhu / Christopher Berry (Editors) (2009): TV China. Indiana University Press


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