State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has officially launched CCTV America in its bid to capture a greater share of the global audience. The new operation, located out of a brand new studio in Washington DC, will be produced by about 100 journalists in 15 bureaus in North and South America, offering viewers four hours of programming daily in three programmes: Biz Asia America, a business news broadcast; The Heat, a talkshow; and Americas Now, a news magazine programme.
Part of a government-sponsored push to ramp up China’s “soft power”, CCTV America is staffed by producers and reporters lured from other major international networks, including veteran “60 Minutes” producer Barbara Dury, BBC reporter Michael Voss, and Emmy Award winner Mike Walter, formerly with CBS affiliate WUSA.
Ma Jing, the Director General of CCTV America, said in a press statement that the new operation would “uphold traditional journalistic values”, offer “alternative views” and “consider accuracy, objectivity, truthfulness, and public accountability more important than anything else”. We’ll see if they live up to their word.