Revamped and Expanding


China has a 24-hour cable news station, in English, that used to be called CCTV. Several months ago, this staiton got a complete makeover with new studios, new shows, different anchors and a more seamless integration with social media: CGTN (China Global Television Network).

One advantage of this network – compared to CNN and Fox News (which prioritize American events) is that international reporting has a very extensive reach. All kinds of stories are covered that might seem unimportant to some western viewers. But the stories matter, and sometimes they bubble up a few weeks later in western media.

Critics of CGTN claim that the network censors itself or under-reports issues such as Tibet. Perhaps. Although in my opinion, Tibet is not really much of an issue. All is quiet on the Tibetan front…

People in the West, especially the US, criticized China plenty, but it is interesting to keep in mind that support for the government here is much higher, and consensus much broader, than in western systems.

People might be surprised at the amount of open debate on the show, which features all kinds of Chinese and foreign guests, some of them outspoken and critical of specific policies. Reporters also routinely cover issues of corruption, which is being curtailed but persists at local and provincial levels.

Who watches CGTN? In China it is watched by a quite large foreign population and by Chinese intellectuals, but ordinary Chinese people are not watching the English channel. This might be one reason why the debates are rather freewheeling.

The best shows include Dialogue with Yang Rui, The Point with Liu Xin, and Crossover.

In any case it is interesting to see world events from a Chinese perspective.

Here is the CGTN youtube channel:



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