Webinar with BBC World Service on Rising Influence of China in Global Media
On 9 November, BGIPU and the BBC World Service co-hosted a webinar on the ‘Rising Influence of China in Global Media’. The event provided participants with an overview of the ways in which China has increased its influence on global broadcasting through investment in television infrastructure, technology, journalist training programmes and its use of Western social media networks to build its own narratives.
Mark Logan MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG for China chaired the meeting. He was joined by Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service and colleagues from BBC Monitoring and the BBC World Service. Celia Hatton, Asia Pacific Editor and Presenter for the World Service, began with a presentation on the political shifts in China and explained its soft power strategy as well as the more aggressive foreign policies which have been demonstrated in recent years. Howard Zhang, Editor and Head of Service for BBC News Chinese followed with an explanation of how the Communist Party of China ensures domestic power by controlling media narratives both inside and outside of China. Finally, Tse Yin Lee, Senior Journalist for BBC Monitoring provided an overview of the use of radio, television and social media to create a ubiquitous presence in the reporting of international news and build a positive image of China.
This timely webinar was well-attended by UK parliamentarians as well as China and media experts who engaged in interesting discussion during the Q&A session. The meeting revealed how China’s ability to invest billions in foreign media infrastructure and the hiring of journalists has boosted it influence over state narratives and has created tough competition for the BBC World Service. It also highlighted the importance of the BBC’s role in wielding the UK’s soft power influence and providing free, reliable and impartial reporting across the world.