Summary of Inside China’s Audacious Global Propaganda Campaign

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China has been using a variety of methods to infuse foreign news reports with a pro-China bias, as journalists Louisa Lim and Julia Bergin explain in this piece for The Guardian. The article is well-researched and enlightening, although a bit light on the fact that even Western reporting on China can be – and often is – biased. Nonetheless, Lim and Bergin’s five-month investigation provides an invaluable glimpse into the new world of information warfare.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How China seeks to influence foreign news reports and
  • What China’s propaganda strategy seeks to accomplish. 
 

About the Authors

Louisa Lim is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne. Julia Bergin is researcher for The Little Red Podcast.

 

Summary

China is pursuing a sophisticated propaganda campaign to promote China’s image, worldview and interests abroad. Since 2003, the use of propaganda tools to nudge foreign governments toward adopting China-friendly policies has been an official part of Chinese military strategy. Beijing has intensified its global propaganda efforts, using both overt and more subtle means. The state-run China Central Television (CCTV) has been recruiting local journalists abroad to report “the news from a Chinese perspective.” Starting in Africa and later expanding to other countries – including the UK and the US – CCTV has been able to attract journalistic talent by offering above-market pay and attractive working conditions. China’s official news agency, Xinhua, has also been recruiting foreign journalists. While these state-run outlets don’t censor journalists directly, they do let reporters know what kind of reporting the government values and place favorable stories prominently on their websites – thus encouraging reporters to put a positive spin on stories about China.


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