Plug pulled on West China Channel

As the Chinese media is caught between market-oriented reforms and demands to provide government propaganda, some outlets are having a hard time defining themselves. CCTV has axed its news station which focused on the western regions of the country as part of the government’s development scheme and was the first CCTV subsidiary to operate as a fully commercial business: “The West China Channel was part of the central government’s Go West campaign and focused on news and information about the region. Its axing is a reflection of low viewer interest in the underdeveloped western region and provides anecdotal evidence of the difficulties Beijing faces in attracting investment to the region… ‘It was originally designed to be a public channel serving as a public educator and information platform with a strong political propaganda imperative,’ Professor Yin said. ‘And as such it should have received stable financial aid from the government. But, in reality, it operated on a market-oriented business model. As a result, the West channel’s [identity] became a hodgepodge.'” The South China Morning Post article is here, via Asia Media.


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