China’s state TV pursuing international audience

China’s state broadcaster is expanding, increasing its overseas staff by fivefold by the end of 2012, and almost tenfold by 2016, MediaGuardian reported today.

China Central Television is going after an international audience, especially in the United States and Africa, with its English-language services produced in Washington and Nairobi.

Not content to be a global economic powerhouse, China wants to compete culturally as well, MediaGuardian noted.

But will audiences be interested? The new president of CCTV has not won friends lately, when he urged journalists to “drop their pretensions of professionalism and submit to being mouthpieces of the government,” The Lede NY Times blog pointed out Monday. Hu Zhanfan, a former newspaper editor and former vice minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, has been compared to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

While Hu’s comments may reflect the norm in Chinese media, the public wants “objective, neutral, and diverse media,” said Jiao Guobiao, a former journalism professor at Peking University, according to The Lede.

Image via Popsci: CCTV’s headquarters went under construction in 2004 in Beijing

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