By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 25: Chinese government is actively trying to influence the global media to curb criticism against the Communist led government and instead spread its propaganda and portray a favourable image, global journalistic body said in a new report.
Reporters Without Border (RSF) in its report ‘China’s Pursuit of a New World Media Order’ says Beijing is employing a multi-faceted assault to control the global media such as ramping up international broadcasting, undertaking extensive advertising campaigns, and infiltrating foreign media outlets in order to spread its world view.
China which is ranked 176th out of 180 in terms of freedom of press by RSF is investing huge amounts of capital to increase the global presence of Chinese media, it said. Chinese government is said to have invested as much as $1.3 billion annually to expand the broadcast and to televise state-run television and radio shows globally. China Global Television Network is televised in 140 countries and China Radio International is broadcast in 65 languages.
Additionally, China has also bought stakes in international media outlets. A columnist for South Africa’s Independent Online, of which Chinese investors holds a 20% stake, had his column cancelled in Sept. 2018, hours after a column about China’s persecution of ethnic minorities was published, according to RSF.
The report also highlighted that in China, more than 60 professional and non-professional journalists are currently detained, making it the world’s biggest jail for journalists. Those who try to provide freely-reported news and information are often subjected to incommunicado detention for up to six months in extremely harsh conditions, often including torture.
RSF recommended that the Chinese government immediately release professional and non-professional journalists, respect press freedom and the freedom of information both domestically and internationally, ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, restore the independence of state and privately-owned media in application of Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, end the system of online censorship and surveillance of journalists, stop blocking and censoring the dissemination of foreign media content in China and not impede the work of foreign reporters in China and provide them with accreditation in an open and transparent manner.