October 30, 2009 10:39
CNN is about to get a new competitor -- from China. China's state-run Xinhua News Agency has been putting together its own 24-hour satellite news channel for the past year and will begin broadcasting reports from a Chinese perspective next month to viewers around the world in conjunction with CCTV's existing English-language channel.
A Xinhua official on Thursday said that China International TV (CITV) will launch on Nov. 7, Xinhua's 78th anniversary. A media official in Beijing said the news channel will be headquartered in the Chinese capital and begin with a branch office in Hong Kong, gradually expanding to more overseas offices. "Just as Al Jazeera has an Arab point of view, CITV intends to report global news from a Chinese, rather than a Western, perspective," the official added.
CITV will start broadcasting in Chinese and offer English-language reports from January. Initially it will target viewers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian nations, with the ultimate aim to broaden its viewership to the entire world.
Xinhua has been test-producing an hour's worth of English-language news per day to prepare for the upcoming launch. In order to overcome its lack of broadcast experience, CITV has formed a strategic alliance with Phoenix Television in Hong Kong, according to Chinese media officials. Xinhua is also looking to increase its overseas branches from around 100 countries now to 186 in order to boost its area of coverage.
Following the Beijing Olympics last year, Chinese President Hu Jintao ordered the country's state-run media to bolster their abilities. In January of this year, Xinhua, CCTV and other state-run Chinese media outlets announced plans to invest 45 billion yuan (W7.9 trillion, US$1=W1,198) to expand their overseas coverage.
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