The dichotomy of China Global Television Network’s news coverage

  • Thomas Fearon Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Usha M. Rodrigues Deakin University, Melbourne
Keywords: Asia-Pacific, CGTN, China. CNN, comparative journalism, disaster communication, framing analysis, media covergence, propaganda, satellite news, soft power, television, Tianjin, watchdog


Although much is made of the universalisation of ‘US-style’ journalism around the world and Chinese journalists’ shared professional values with counterparts in liberal-democratic countries (Zhang, 2009), the effect of these trends on journalism in China is yet to be fully explored. Using the 2015 Tianjin blasts as a case study, this article investigates China Global Television Network (CGTN) and CNN International’s coverage of the disaster. The empirical study finds that despite their overlapping news values, the two networks’ opposing ideological objectives contributed to different framings of the Tianjin blasts. Although CGTN, as a symbol of Chinese media’s presence on the world stage, has clearly travelled far from its past era of party-line journalism, it still hesitates to apportion responsibility to those in power. The authors argue that CGTN is increasingly torn by its dichotomous role as a credible media competing for audience attention on the world stage, and a vital government propaganda organ domestically.


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Author Biography

Usha M. Rodrigues, Deakin University, Melbourne

Senior Lecturer in Journalism

Faculty of Arts and Education

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How to Cite
Fearon, T., & Rodrigues, U. M. (2019). The dichotomy of China Global Television Network’s news coverage. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 25(1&2), 102-121.