Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Unifying control of broadcast media

Among the changes approved at the recent National People's Congress was the creation of clear Party controls over the media messages to the world.

Beijing plans to merge state media outlets as it tightens control
China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio (CNR) and China Radio International (CRI) will be consolidated into a new broadcaster called Voice of China – a nod to federally funded Voice of America in the United States and Germany’s Deutsche Welle…
Xi greets CCTV workers
A document introducing the changes… says the consolidated group will sit directly under the State Council, China’s cabinet, and will be led by the party’s Central Propaganda Department.

It also outlines changes to the propaganda unit and the Central Organisation Department – two already powerful agencies that will have even more heft after the revamp.

The propaganda department will absorb the country’s top media watchdog… taking over its regulatory power on news, publications and film…

The changes are part of a structural reform of party and state departments designed to entrench the party’s control over all levers of government and all aspects of life.

According to the document, Voice of China’s main duties will be to “promote the party’s theories, principles and policies”, “coordinate and organise major propaganda coverage”, “strengthen the ability to shape public opinion”, “improve its global communication capabilities”, and “tell the China story well”.

Under Xi, Beijing has also grown increasingly eager to be heard in a world it sees as dominated by Western narratives that are unfair and biased against China…

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