Jan 30, 2020
The Chinese government is becoming increasingly sophisticated in its use of media in Africa to get its message out to a wide variety of audiences across the continent. The most visible examples of this trend are the growing availability of Beijing's legacy propaganda outlets that includes the Nairobi-based TV network CGTN, the China Daily newspaper, and China Radio International.
But it's online where China has dramatically expanded its reach by giving away its state-owned Xinhua news service to dozens of African media outlets who use its content as an alternative to other, fee-based news agencies like Reuters and the Associated Press. In many instances, African news consumers are not even aware that they are reading Chinese government-produced news as articles the content often masquerades as if it was written by local journalists.
What's happening in Africa is part of a much broader global trend, according to Sarah Cook, a senior research analyst at the human rights NGO Freedom House. Earlier this month, she published an extensive report that details the expansion of Chinese media influence around the world since 2017.
Sarah joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the findings in her new report and why both African and international governments should be concerned about this trend.
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Download the Freedom House report: Beijing's Global Megaphone: The Expansion of Chinese Communist Party Media Influence since 2017
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