Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Anodyne?

Soft power has been discussed here before, but it's been awhile since it has not been overwhelmed by war and conflict. China has brought the subject to the surface again. China's new English language news service is part of the projection of soft power.

China funds English TV news channel CNC World in push for soft power
China's state news agency launched an international English language news channel yesterday – the latest step in the government's multibillion-pound soft power push.

The authorities hope expanding foreign language media will help promote the country's image and viewpoint, and ultimately challenge the BBC or CNN. But the low-key launch of Xinhua's new CNC World channel suggests that day is some way off…

Stations such as al-Jazeera English have been welcomed as a counterbalance to Western media parochialism. But CNC World's launch is inevitably shadowed by China's extensive censorship…

Xinhua has bureaux in 130 countries and there is a growing number of experienced and professional Chinese journalists. But even allowing for teething problems, CNC World looked dreary beside its domestic rival CCTV, let alone CNN or al-Jazeera…

For the most part, items were brief and anodyne. But there were glimpses of the alternative news agenda that officials want to spread…

The government has been particularly keen to redress what it sees as biased and negative reporting by overseas media since the Tibetan riots and unrest in March 2008…

*an·o·dyne, adj., Capable of soothing or eliminating pain.
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