China-Africa Media Cooperation: Not only the ‘Real China’ but also ‘Real China Africa Relations’

Key information

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Faber Building, 23/24 Russell Square

About this event

Weidi Cheng (SOAS)

Since the 2000s, China has been investing heavily on China-Africa media cooperation. China’s involvement in the African mediascape has two major dimensions: the direct presence of the Chinese state media and the partnerships with African media houses. This massive investment heats the debate between ‘Chinese media imperialism’, ‘pragmaticism’ and ‘global information contra-flow’. However, as Chinese officials define it, the most
critical task of China-Africa cooperation is to present the ‘real China’ (真实的中国), the ‘real Africa’ (真实的非洲) and ‘real China-Africa relations’ (真实的中非关系). This presentation addresses fundamental questions: what is the nature of China-Africa media cooperation? What kind of role is African media expected to play in it? What kind of message is China delivering to African and Chinese media professionals? What is the Chinese understanding on African media reality? To answer these questions, this presentation will offer an overview of the China-Africa media exchange programmes that African journalists have
been subjected to in the past and will be in the future. To be more specific, it shows the historical evolution of China-Africa media cooperation and the current formats and content of China-Africa exchange programmes.

Weidi Cheng recently completed her PhD at SOAS, focusing on an ethnography on China-Africa media cooperation and, in particular, the everyday media interaction between Chinese actors and Kenyan press in the local setting. Her research interests focus on South-South cooperation, China-Africa contact,
global communication, and media anthropology.

Organiser: Matti Pohjonen

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