China Radio International on page one, above the fold, of the Washington Post.

Posted: 27 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
Washington Post, 25 Apr 2010, John Pomfret: "Sandwiched between a Spanish Christian network and a local sports station, broadcasting at 1540 on your AM dial, is KGBC of Galveston, wholly American-owned and -operated, but with content provided exclusively by a mammoth, state-owned broadcaster from the People's Republic of China. Call it KPRC. Or as the locals quip: Keep Galveston Broadcasting Chinese. The little Texas station may be modest, but it is part of a multibillion-dollar effort by the Chinese government to expand its influence around the world. As China rises as a global force, its leaders think that their country is routinely mischaracterized and misunderstood and that China needs to spread its point of view on everything from economics to art to counter the influence of the West. Beijing's new response is typically massive and ambitious: a $6.6 billion global strategy to create media giants that will challenge agenda-setting Western behemoths such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the BBC and CNN. At a time when the Western media are contracting, China is pushing its government-run news services to expand from America to Zimbabwe. The Chinese are creating TV networks, pouring millions into English-language newspapers, leasing radio stations on all continents and broadcasting TV news to a worldwide audience in six languages. The stations don't broadcast outright propaganda, but rather programming with a Chinese focus and flavor, tailored for local audiences. In Galveston, the format mixes China-centric international news, talk shows about the status of China's women and a healthy dose of gangsta rap -- all in English."
     Well, not propaganda by way of adjectives and imperatives. But, yes, propaganda, in the choice of news items, which follows the line of the Party rather than that of genuine journalists. I remember listening to Radio Peking in the 1960s, beginning each broadcast with a quotation of Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Then the "news". Today's China Radio International is much more listenable, and even occasionally reports on negative developments in China.
     Despite its page-one placement, this article incredibly misses a big part of the story. While China Radio International is heard on radio station in an assortment of US cities, China won't allow the placement of VOA or Radio Free Asia on Chinese domestic radio and television stations. The Chinese government's idea of international broadcasting is: we broadcast, you listen.
See previous post about same subject.
   Christian Science Monitor, 27 Apr 2010, John Hughes: "China’s progress has been achieved in spite of communism, not because of it. But great nations and empires flourish on openness and the assimilation of ideas and inventiveness from outside their borders. China’s flow of information should be two-way, not one."