Tuesday, May 10, 2016

ABC and the Great Firewall of China

Media Watch

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The ABC’s entry into China was hailed as a great leap forward and in the words of adman Harold Mitchell.
"... one of the most important breakthroughs in communications between our countries ..."
So how is it going? Well, not very well, according to some. ...
The ABC told us it’s providing a window to Australian life, stories, values and culture.
But Chinese media expert, Professor Wanning Sun, doesn’t see the point of doing it like that:
WANNING SUN: It is purporting to be ABC, but it’s not doing what ABC is supposed to do. And I frankly, personally, do not know why ABC wants to do that. I don’t really know what ABC can get out of this deal. Why does the ABC want to do business in China? What does it get out of it? You tell me. You tell me! Does it want to sell products? Does it want to make profit?
— Wanning Sun, Professor of Media Communications Studies, UTS, 28 April, 2016
The ABC has said in the past that sites like Australia Plus are about diplomacy. But even on that front, Wanning Sun suggests that the BBC—which also reaches into China—does it better.
WANNING SUN: BBC is very tough. It says what it wants to say – even in a Chinese website. From time to time it gets shut down by China if it offends the Chinese Government. But precisely because of this, BBC is a very strong public diplomacy asset for the UK, because of this strong credibility.
— Wanning Sun, Professor of Media Communications Studies, UTS, 28 April, 2016
Other China watchers also tell Media Watch they find it hard to understand what the ABC is doing. And they suggest its prime duty to listeners in the region is to tell the truth. ...

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