China Central Television is launching a major expansion in pursuit of an international audience, increasing its overseas staff fivefold by the end of next year and almost tenfold by 2016.
The broadcaster hopes to win millions of viewers in the US and Africa with English-language services produced in Washington and Nairobi. According to its website, it had 49 staff posted abroad in November 2010 – with 10 more in Hong Kong and Macau – and wants overseas staff to increase to 280 by 2012. That number should rise to 500 by 2016, across 80 bureaus.
At the heart of operations will be six hubs: two probably in London and Dubai and others in South America and the Asia Pacific region.
It is understood to have hired some 150 people, reports the Guardian, with Washington gaining 60 staff. Most will be working for the English- and other foreign-language channels. Zhong Xin, a journalism professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Chinese media had long wanted to expand and that incidents in 2008 and 2009 – such as protests during the Olympic torch relay and riots in Xinjiang – persuaded the government of the need, because it wanted China’s voice to be heard.