Major News Outlets in the PRC

Xinhua

The Xinhua News Network Corporation is the largest network in China with sizable international reach via the internet and a recent English language TV station.  Xinhua’s online stories can be found in various languages including English, Japanese, Arabic, Russian and Chinese and can be easily accessed via Google News under the ‘World’ news category.

A state controlled enterprise and the official Communist Party of China (CCP) media organization; Xinhua is directly engaged in the collection and dissemination of foreign news reports destined for the Chinese market, though the organization’s main purpose is in providing a party-centric view of international and regional Chinese issues and events. Xinhua is suspected of holding and propagating anti-western biases and is accused of propagandizing by many in the foreign press. Xinhua however, positions itself to challenge and expose perceived Western biases toward the CPC.

Since the Tiananmen Square incident and related instances of Xinhua journalists protesting Xinhua’s party-centric coverage, the corporation has become more tightly controlled. This has resulted in the replacement of some foreign news chiefs and in more stringent censorship and denouncements of the foreign press, especially when pertaining to stories about China. Much of this has done little to silence foreign news media criticism of the paper, which often cite the paper as stigmatized and the propaganda arm of the party.

People’s Daily 

People’s Daily is the voice of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The paper is    published worldwide with editions in English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. It has a circulation of 3-4 million and also holds a sizable online presence. Ever since the papers founding in 1948,  People’s Daily has been directly controlled by the Party’s top leadership and was even managed by Mao’s personal secretary during his reign.

From the cultural revolution onward, the paper’s editorials have been seen as a litmus on official government policy. For example during the Tiananmen Square protests, People’s Daily condemned ‘unlawful parades and demonstrations’, which led to a significant increase in tension between the government and protestors.

Since the 1990s, People’s Daily has faced a decline in government spending. As a result, the outlet has pushed towards online advertising on its sites. It is also responsible for the publication of the highly nationalistic Global Times tabloid.

Global Times

Global Times is produced by the official CPC newspaper,  People’s Daily. First published in 1993, with an English version launched in 2009, Global Times focuses on international issues and seeks to compete with foreign overseas media. Global Times attracts a strong nationalistic readership but does include some foreign writers and international points of view. It is criticized for  having a heavy pro-party bias, though it is noticable that the English language version is less one-eyed than the Mandarin version. The paper has a circulation of 1.5 million Chinese copies printed weekly and  100,000 copies printed weekly in English.

CCTV News (China Central Television)

CCTV is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China, accessible to over 1 billion viewers including 85,000 overseas viewers in more than 100 different countries. The station is an official outlet of the Chinese government and reports directly to high-level officials in the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC). As the owner of the only English news channel based in China, CCTV also targets foreigners within China and outsiders with an interest in the country. While CCTV does employ some foreign news anchors, they have not been journalists of note or main anchors.

China Daily

China Daily, established in 1981 is the largest English language newpaper on the mainland with over 500,000 papers circulated per issue (two thirds of which are domestic sales), it was also the first of any Chinese publication to have an online presence ; it went online in 1995, it also offices in Washington London and Brussels as well as all the major cities on the mainland. China Daily is a paper targeted at foreign tourists and business people in China and much of it’s content are translations of Chinese peices. The papers stated goals are the  presentation of “China and China’s news to a unique group of readers and providing services and entertainment specially suited to those readers” and as such, China Daily is generally more liberal than the majority of Chinese papers and does provide balanced reporting of events and occasionally criticises the actions of some Party members. China Daily is still under much of the same censorship rules that apply to all Chinese publications however.

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