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China’s media coverage in Africa to benefit Africa’s media landscape

Chinese media in Africa


Over the past couple of years Chinese media organisations have been expanding in Africa. This has been characterised as part of the growth of China's "soft power" on the continent.

近几年来,中国媒体一直在非洲不断扩张。这被说成是中国在非洲"软实力"增长的一部分。

A new analysis of the phenomenon by James Wan, Propaganda or proper journalism: China's media expansion in Africa, reports that the flourishing China-Africa relationship has been matched by Beijing's concerted effort to build an "impressive" media presence in Africa.

温胜华(《非洲思考》杂志前任高级编辑——本网注)在对这一现象的最新分析文章《是宣传还是准确报道:中国媒体在非洲的扩张》中说,与快速发展的中非关系相对应的是,北京为打造"令人印象深刻"的驻非洲媒体而采取了各种努力。

It is big in television with CCTV Africa, the English-language news channel run by China's state broadcaster, and in radio with China Radio International. As for newspapers, there is an African editon of its international English-language paper and website, China Daily. Many of its stories are provided by Beijing's official press agency, Xinhua.

它大获成功。在电视领域,有中国官方电视台的英语新闻频道"中央电视台非洲分台(CCTV Africa)";在广播领域,有中国国际广播电台;在报纸领域,中国英文报纸《中国日报》及其网站推出了非洲版;该报的大部分报道由中国官方通讯社新华社提供。

Although these enterprises were initially viewed as outlets for pro-Chinese propaganda, Wan writes that most journalists working for them – the vast majority of whom are African – have not been subject to censorship.

温胜华写道,虽然这些媒体一开始被视为亲华宣传工具,但为他们工作的大多数记者——其中绝大部分是非洲人——从未受到过任何审查。

He quotes Beatrice Marshall, the anchor of CCTV Africa's flagship news and current affairs show, as saying: "I can guarantee you that we have been 100% in control of our own editorial content. Are there any red lines? Up until this point, absolutely not."

温胜华援引中央电视台非洲分台主要新闻实事类节目主持人比阿特丽斯•马歇尔的话说:"我可以向你保证,我们对自己的编辑内容拥有百分之百的控制权。有什么红线吗?到目前为止,绝对没有。"

He also reports that media academics agree… up to a point. One of them, Witwatersrand university researcher Bob Wekesa, noted a change of position from the early 1990s when "there was no room at all for criticism of certain African leaders".

温胜华还说,媒体研究学者也在一定程度上对此表示认同。南非金山大学研究人员鲍勃•韦凯萨阐述了90年代初期以来发生的变化。当时,中国媒体"绝不允许批评某些非洲领导人"。

But now "they increasingly don't shy away from this, though they might not go the whole hog. 

而现在,"虽然还不彻底,但它们已逐渐不再回避此类报道"。

Wan writes:"According to some theorists… the usual criticism of Chinese state-owned media being little more than propaganda may be missing an important point. Rather than simply being constrained, they suggest, Chinese media may also have a different philosophy of journalism to begin with."

他写道:"一些理论学者认为……以往对于中国媒体不过是宣传工具的批评或许忽略了重要的一点。中国媒体也许从一开始就有着不同的新闻理念,而不是简单地受到约束。"

Zhang Yanqiu, director of the Africa Communication Research Centre at the Communication University of China, argues that western media adopt a "watchdog" role while Chinese media practise what she calls "constructive journalism".

中国传媒大学非洲传媒研究中心主任张艳秋认为,西方媒体扮演的是一种"监督员"的角色,而中国媒体则在进行"建设性报道"。

She then explains the difference:"Constructive journalism can be both positive and negative, but the purpose is to find solutions.

她接下来解释了二者的区别:"'建设性报道'既可以是正面的,也可以是负面的,但它的目的是为了找到解决问题的答案。"

The idea is to give a new kind of balance and shine a new kind of light on the continent. Instead of just reporting on the situation, it asks ' how can we help them?'

她说:"其理念是给非洲大陆带来一种新的平衡和一种新的视角。它不是仅仅报道情况,而且还提出了问题:'我们该如何帮助他们?'"

The western media may be telling the truth, but if you are telling the truth and things are just getting worse and people are afraid of travelling to Africa, for whose good is this?"

她说:"西方媒体或许是在报道事实,但如果在报道事实的同时,而情况却日益恶化,人们不敢去非洲,这又对谁有好处呢?"

Marshall also claims that constructive journalism is at the heart of CCTV Africa's ethos:

马歇尔也说,建设性报道是中央电视台非洲分台的核心理念。

"When you look at western media, a lot of the time their strategy is to be combative. But what we want to do is say 'this is the issue, this is the challenge, and this is how it's being solved' rather than getting people to argue."

她说:"看看西方媒体,在很多时候,它们的策略是好斗的。而我们想做的是告诉人们,'这个是问题,这个是挑战,这个是解决方案',而不是引发人们的争论。"

Example: in the run-up to the Nigerian general election in March, Marshall's programme focused on the security measures rather than the security threats. "It may be the same story," she says, "but the difference in framing is important."

例如,在2015年3月尼日利亚大选前,马歇尔的节目侧重报道了安全措施而不是安全威胁。"这或许是同一则新闻,"她说,"但不同的报道角度很重要。"

Wan believes that although Chinese media is struggling to present itself as credible, it may be changing Africa's media landscape for the better.

温胜华认为,虽然中国媒体还在努力提高自身的可信度,但它们或许已经在促使非洲媒体朝着好的方向转变。

He concludes by quoting Wekesa: "Both western and Chinese media are problematic for different reasons, but there is also a lot that each can, and is, learning from the other.

他最后援引韦凯萨的话说:"西方和中国的媒体都因为不同的原因而存在问题,但它们能够而且正在从对方身上学到很多东西。"

"For me, the ideal would be a mix of the more adversarial western approach with the more constructive Chinese approach, and I think there is evidence of them being influenced by one another already. Ultimately, this can only be good for Africa and for Africa's media."

他说:"对我来说,理想状态是更具对抗性的西方视角与更具建设性的中国视角相结合。我认为,有证据证明它们已经在相互影响。最终,这对非洲以及非洲媒体来说只会是件好事。"

2016-06-23

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