There has been a noticeable change in some of the reporting of Kenya on state-owned media. But the state owned-media outlets are not Kenyan, they are Chinese.
China is on a soft power push, a hearts and minds offensive all over Africa. And the media is central to its strategy. Between China’s state run broadcaster CCTV and its official press agency Xinhua – African governments are enjoying the kind of positive news coverage they have come to expect from media outlets they themselves control.
The Chinese reporters and editors involved defend their journalism. They say they do the kind of positive stories about Africa that other international news organisations ignore.
But when you follow the money you see there is more to this story than that. China is growing more and more reliant on African natural resources and it is relying on its own media to try to secure its trade relations with the continent.
The Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead now on the growth in Sino-African media relations.
“As far as we have been involved with CCTV, and the collaborations we have had with them, they are very much focused on telling a positive story about the continent. They are focusing on African leaders, African heroes, African entrepreneurs, positive stories about business and sport, and music and the art, the environment, health, so they are looking to tell very different stories about Africa that a lot of other international media houses are not doing at the moment.”
Salim Amin, chairman of Africa 24 Media