Since its launch in 2012, CCTV Africa has grown considerably in its distribution and programming. However, the central question remains as to whether or not anyone is actually watching to justify the massive investment undertaken by the Chinese government. According to research by leading Sino-Africa media scholar Bob Wekesa, apparently the channel is building an audience on the continent through its coverage of so-called “positive news.”
During the show we referenced Bob Wekesa’s May 2014 paper “Live, Talk, Faces: An Analysis of CCTV’s Adaption to the African Media Market” published by Stellenbosch Univeristy’s Center for Chinese Studies.
Bob Wekesa is a PhD candidate in international communications at Communication University of China and a Research Associate at University of the Witwatersrand University, South Africa. He sits on the steering committee of Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network. He is a founding research coordinator at the African Communication Research Centre at Communication University of China. Wekesa graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree in English linguistics and literature from University of Nairobi, Kenya and an MA in International Communications from Communication University of China (with distinction). He was a Commonwealth Press Union fellow in the UK in 2002. His journalism experience spans reporting, editing and leadership across multiple media platforms; in addition to numerous articles, Wekesa is the author of two books and his third, on China-Africa, is forthcoming.