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China's media footprint in Kenya

(CPJ/IFEX) - May 7, 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Consultant

Will China's quickly expanding media presence in Africa result in a fresh, alternative, and balanced perspective on the continent--much as Al-Jazeera altered the broadcast landscape with the launch of its English service in 2006--or will it be essentially an exercise in propaganda?

Beijing's soaring investments in Africa, which rose 87 percent last year according to China Radio International, include a heavy concentration in the media, especially in Kenya. This year China launched CCTV in East Africa with its headquarters in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. The state broadcaster has 50 local staff here and 14 correspondents across the continent in South Africa, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Senegal with plans to expand to 150 staff, according to operations manager and Editor Robert Soi. Since January, Kenyans have been able to hear a daily one-hour broadcast of CCTV's "Africa Live," and the channel plans to become an all news, 24-hour channel similar to France 24 or CNN by 2015.

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