Sunday, February 10, 2013

Changing Channels: The Rise of Chinese Media in Africa

By  Mark Kapchanga
Amidst Western media stories of China's "exploitation" and "neo-colonialism", now the emerging superpower wants to tell its own African story.

Nairobi, Kenya:
China’s growing role in Africa is no secret. Its expansive resource-backed infrastructural projects are widely reported on and the $200 billion/year trade between China and Africa has been turning heads around the world.

Sino-African relations are covered abundantly in Western and African media. But now, China wants to narrate its own stories. Concerned that the loudest stories of China-Africa relations being heard are ones of exploitation, neo-colonialism, and the propping up of dictators, China’s central government has initiated a big media push to offer a counterbalance to Western narratives.

China’s media dreams 

China’s central government has reportedly set aside $7 billion to expand its state-run media globally. This is starting to bear fruit.

In January 2012, China Central Television (CCTV) set up headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and soon began courting Africa’s top journalists. In December, China Daily, China's biggest English-language newspaper, launched Africa Weekly. In Ethiopia, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua erected giant news screens. Thousands of scholarships for African journalists have been established. And Xinhua has also partnered with Kenyan mobile firm, Safaricom, to provide the first mobile news service in sub-Saharan Africa.

(Source : Think Africa Press via 

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