China's global media companies and their reporters' softball questions.

Posted: 25 Nov 2012   Print   Send a link
Crikey, 21 Nov 2012, William Mackenzie, "China’s 18th party congress concluded last week. Other than a slightly delayed news conference to announce the new leadership, which spawned the hashtag #whyXiJinpingIsLate, there were few surprises. One of the more interesting turns in coverage of the Congress was the Andrea Yu affair. Yu has been lambasted by the ABC, the International Herald Tribute, and the Wall Street Journal for softballing questions to officials and party members after it was revealed that her purportedly Australian media company, Global CAMG Media, was actually majority-owned by Chinese state media broadcaster China Radio International (CRI). Yu has been at the centre of the furore, with some jumping to her defence, but the real issue here is of undisclosed, international subsidiaries of Chinese state media masquerading as independent foreign media. ... Essentially the Chinese Communist Party is working to expand an echo chamber filled with its own sycophantic, state-approved spin. It’s the ventriloquising of global media. International radio stations, print media, and websites from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, to Asia, Oceania, and South America produce content on China that appears independent, but is actually carefully managed to avoid unwanted subjects like an independent Tibet or the pro-democracy movement, while focusing on economic growth and social cohesion. Like the Chinese state media that owns them, these companies are essentially PR firms for the CPC."

Radio Australia, 19 Nov 2012: "And what of Ms Yu? She was certainly the media star of the congress. Ms Yu appeared on state-run China Central Television’s Monday night news bulletin. She also featured on the official website of the Communist Party's newspaper, The People's Daily, in a slideshow labelled 'beautiful scenery at 18th CPC National Congress'."

Reporters sans frontières, 8 Nov 2012: Aware of the foreign media’s steadily-growing influence, the authorities have reinforced the blocking of the Voice of America, BBC, Radio Free Asia and Deutsche Welle websites. A few weeks ago it was possible to circumvent the censorship by using proxies and VPNs, but some sources are reporting that such tools are now much less effective.