Seeking Truth in International TV News
China, CGTN and the BBC
- Available for pre-order on February 24, 2023. Item will ship after March 17, 2023
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This book puts CGTN (formerly CCTV-News) and the BBC’s international television news head-to-head, interrogating competing ‘truths’ in the exacting business of news reporting.
Written by a media scholar and former long-serving BBC News journalist, Seeking Truth in International TV News asks if China’s English-language television news programmes are nothing but state propaganda, and if the BBC is a universal news standard to which all other broadcasters should aspire. Over eight years of Xi Jinping’s rule, it investigates how the international TV news channels of CGTN and the BBC reported on Chinese politics, protests in Hong Kong, disasters, China in Africa, and insurgency and its suppression in Xinjiang. The comparison reveals uneven editorial imperatives at the Chinese broadcaster and raises questions about the BBC’s professed tenets of balance and impartiality. It also illustrates how Chinese journalists commit ‘small acts of journalism’ that push the boundaries of information control.
A rigorous analysis of reportage from the two channels, this book will interest scholars of global media, journalism, international relations and public diplomacy. It will also interest those in academia, the media and international affairs who want to examine the nature of news and ‘soft power’ in a comparative context.
Table of Contents
List of Figures; List of Tables; Preface; List of Abbreviations; Glossary; 1. A Battle for Global Influence; Everything Comes from Somewhere; Going Global; Contested Concepts: Soft Power; Contested Concepts: Impartiality and Balance; Contested Concepts: Propaganda; The Power of the Individual; The Ritual of International News; Chapter Overviews; 2. Seeking ‘Truth’ from Facts; A Tale of Two News Channels; CCTV in English 1986-2010; CCTV-News 2010-2016; CGTN in English 2017–; BBC World Service Television News 1991-1995; BBC World and BBC World News 1995–; Into Africa, the Americas and Europe; Fractured Worlds; Comparing the News; Categorising the Reporting; Precisions and Limitations; 3. Telling China’s Story Well; Getting the Story Straight; Two Caged Tigers: The Bo and Zhou Trials; China and its Place in the World; Lunar New Year; The ‘Two Sessions’ Political Meetings; Covering (the Rest of) China; Whose China Story?; 4. Responding to Disaster; The Bearers of Bad News; The 2015 Yangtze Capsize; The 2019 Jiangsu Explosion; Yangtze to Jiangsu: What Changed?; 5. Covering Political Unrest; One Region, Two Narratives; The 2014 Hong Kong ‘Umbrella’ Protests; The 2019 Hong Kong Extradition Bill Crisis; CGTN’s New Voice; Media Wars; ‘Small Acts of Journalism’?; Strengthening Frames; 6. Redefining African News; China’s News for Africa: Experiment or Expedient?; Changing Africa’s Media Image; Comparisons in Figures; Comparisons in Framing; China in Africa; Which Journalism, and for Whom?; The African Exception; 7. Islam, ‘Terror’ and National Identity; Enemies Without and Within; Two Stories of Xinjiang, 2018-2021; Seeking Facts: The 2014 Attacks; Defining Terrorism; 2015: The Case of Charlie Hebdo; Manufacturing Context; 8. A Trojan Dragon and its Achilles Heel; The Battle for Discourse Power; Seeking Answers: News Content; Seeking Answers: Power and Partiality; Sharp Power, Blunt Weapon; The Achilles Heel; The Imperilled Centenarian; The Casualty of Truths; Never Again ‘News From Nowhere’; Appendices; Index
Vivien Marsh, an independent academic researcher and journalist who teaches at the University of Westminster, UK, is a former BBC global news editor, reporter and writer.