China to Takeover African Media?

China to Takeover African Media?

From The Globe and Mail

When one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp.

A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China’s media empire across Africa.

From newspapers and magazines to satellite television and radio stations, China is investing heavily in African media. It’s part of a long-term campaign to bolster Beijing’s “soft power” – not just through diplomacy, but also through foreign aid, business links, scholarships, training programs, academic institutes and the media.

Its investments have allowed China to promote its own media agenda in Africa, using a formula of upbeat business and cultural stories and a deferential pro-government tone, while ignoring human-rights issues and the backlash against China’s own growing power.

The formula is a familiar one used widely in China’s domestic media. It leads to a tightly controlled pro-China message, according to journalists and ex-journalists at the Africa branch of CCTV, the Chinese state television monopoly that owns China International Television and launched a new headquarters in Nairobi last year.

Read more at globeandmail.com