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Chinese media expand into Africa

Greg Baker
AP Photo
Pedestrians walk past a billboard that promotes an upcoming China-Africa summit in Beijing.

Kenyans that want to hear the latest international news can listen to the BBC, the Voice of America, or Al-Jazeera. Africans can also tune in China Radio International, which is gaining ground in the crowded market.

In the capital Nairobi, they can read local newspapers with articles provided for free by the Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, Or they can get a mix of international and African news on China Central Television, or CCTV. Earlier this year, CCTV built its first international broadcast hub in Nairobi.

China’s state-run news media are growing at a fast pace around the world — particularly in Africa — at a time when broadcasting and newspaper companies based in America and Europe are scaling back their international operations.

The expansions are part of a campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to improve China’s image around the world, and bolster its influence in areas where Beijing is economically and politically active. 

To hear more about China's media expansion into Africa, Global Journalist was joined by two experts:

Yu-Shan Wu is a a researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs. She recently wrote about these new media dynamics in a paper titled, “The Rise of China’s state-led media dynasty in Africa”

Ayo Johnson is an award winning journalist, and the founder and director of a news agency called Viewpoint Africa

Rehman Tungekar is a former producer for KBIA, who left at the beginning of 2014.