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[AUDIO] China’s StarTimes is now one of Africa’s most important media companies

The Beijing-based StarTimes Group is now one of Africa’s most important media companies with 10 million subscribers across 30 countries. The pay TV company is leading the continent’s transition from analog to digital television with some of the world’s most affordable cable/satellite TV packages priced as low as $4 per month. In the burgeoning Digital TV sector, StarTime is far and ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Chinese media’s African identity crisis

The Chinese Communist Party-controlled international television news broadcaster CGTN (China Global Television News) faces a seemingly-irreconcilable dilemma. While the network positions itself as an alternative to the dominant global channels like CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera, CGTN also has a separate, arguably more important mission as the voice of the party that must always adhere to “core socialist values” according to mandates set by ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s controversial, out-sized role in Africa’s digital revolution

Africa is home to one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world. In fact, more African households own a mobile phone than have reliable electricity or even clean water. The combination of a young population, some of the fastest growing economies and steadily falling prices for both mobile handsets as well as internet access are all contributing to ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China working hard to challenge West’s news narratives in Africa

The Chinese media presence across Africa has expanded dramatically over the past ten years as Beijing invested millions of dollars to build out a vast distribution network for its newspaper, radio and TV content. China’s flagship TV network CCTV broadcasts daily from its regional hub in Nairobi, China Radio International broadcasts in-language programming on the FM dial in places like ... Read More »

[AUDIO] A Chinese journalist reflects on reporting the China-Africa story

How foreign journalists report on the China-Africa story is often determined by the national origin of their news organization. While there are no doubt exceptions, the US news media frequently frame China as the neo-colonial aggressor and Africa as the persistent victim of foreign agendas. The French, for their part, too often simply ignore the story and the Chinese frame ... Read More »

[AUDIO] A journalist’s guide to covering FOCAC 6

When covering any major international summit it can be challenging to get the “real story” beyond the official communiqués and government talking-points, especially at Chinese events where the messaging is often tightly controlled. James Schneider is a veteran African journalist with extensive experience reporting on African diplomacy, most recently he covered the 2015 Africa Union summit in Ethiopia. He shares ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The 2015 China-Africa Roundtable at Wits University

Leading scholars, journalists and activists convened in Johannesburg last week for the annual Wits China-Africa Reporting Project’s annual roundtable discussion. This year’s conference focused on reporting challenges related to the upcoming Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit that will be held in Johannesburg in December. The FOCAC meetings occur every three years, typically alternating venues in both China and ... Read More »

[AUDIO] A journalist’s view on reporting the China-Africa story

The US-based online news site Quartz is among a growing number of international media companies that is investing resources to better cover Africa. The company launched Quartz Africa in June 2015 with the opening of a new bureau in Nairobi and the deployment of a small team of journalists. Among those assigned to Kenya was Lily Kuo who previously reported ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The news media’s mixed record in covering China-Africa ties

News organizations from across Africa and around the world are devoting more resources to covering China’s engagement on the continent. The overall quantity of coverage has undoubtedly increased over the past decade. The key question, though, is whether all of that coverage has produced better quality reporting that is more textured, nuanced and relies less on dated stereotypes of both ... Read More »

[AUDIO] CCTV Africa: frontline of China’s soft-power diplomacy

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 ... Read More »