China Media: boosts soft power by training foreign journalists
The training program — supported by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Huaneng Industry, a Stateowned energy company — is not On a the recent first Saturday internationalmorning projectin Beijing,at top Win ChineseTin, 66, a journalismveteran schools. journalist from Myanmar,
Since 2014, the School of was enthralled by a lecture at
Journalism and Communication the Communication University at Renmin University of of China on setting up a digital
China has trained at least 10 studio, from floor layouts to
journalists from African overhead light temperatures to
media each year in an software. exchange program organized Two months ago, Tin, with by the China-Africa Press Center. 25 years of experience in journalism, This year, the program has started an online news
received 28 African journalists, outlet, Northern Light Media, the largest group yet. but realized he knew little about
Every year, the university online media. also admits five young journalists So he jumped at the offer to from Pakistan. In nine join a 10-day media workshop
months, “they studied various provided by the university’s China-ASEAN
aspects of China, built friendships Center of Training and strengthened their that targets media executives
Chinese counterparts’ understanding and journalists from Southeast of Pakistan”, said Asian Zhong countries.Xin, director of the
school’s“I want to internationalbe a lifelong affairs.learner, and TsinghuaChina is University’sthe country master’sprograminglobalbusinessI’m most interested in,” said Tin, whose journalism, fellow taught trainees,in English,totaling admits21, come20 internationalfrom Vietnam, students Thailand, each Malaysiayear. About and 200 the of Philippines.them from 50 countries have
graduated,The training saidHangMing,program — supported the program’sby the co-director. Chinese Ministry of Some Foreign programs Affairs, that Ministry train of foreign Education journalistsand Huanengat CUC Industry,and Remina State-owned University energy programs company is — fullyis not paidthe firstby schoolsinternational or sponsors, project whileat top the Chinese master’s journalism program schools. at Tsinghua
costs Since 39,0002014, the yuan School ($5,850)of Journalismper year. Most and of Communicationthe training is doneat Renminin Beijing, Universitywith opportunitiesof China has for trained traineesat leastto visit10 journalistsrural areas fromor small African cities. media each Hu year Zhengrong,in an exchange presidentprogram of the organizedCUC and by a the lecturer Chinaof Africathe programPress Center. for This Southeastyear, the Asian program journalists,has received estimated28 Africanmore journalists,than 100 foreignthe largest jourgroup yet.
Every year, the university also admits five young journalists from Pakistan. In nine months, “they studied various aspects of China, built friendships and strengthened their Chinese counterparts’ understanding of Pakistan”, said Zhong Xin, director of the school’s international affairs.
Tsinghua University’s master’s program in global business journalism, taught in English, admits 20 international students each year. About 200 of them from 50 countries have
nalists study in China each graduated, said Hang Ming, the year, most from developing program’s co-director. countries in Africa, Asia, and Some programs that train Europe. foreign journalists at CUC and
“China is the world’s secondRemin University programs is economy and a fully paid by schools or sponsors,
significant stakeholder in global while affairs, the but master’sits soft powerprogram needsat Tsinghuato manifestcosts 39,000 itself yuan through ($5,850) peopleper year.to Most people,of the heart trainingto heartis done dialogues,”in Beijing, Hu with said. opportunities for trainees “Trainingto visit rural foreign areas or journalistssmall cities. in China allows them to
experienceHu Zhengrong,the country’s president fullof the complexity,CUC and a thus lecturer ensuringof the programmore objectivityfor Southeastand considerationwhentheyAsian journalists, estimated portrayChinamore thanto their 100 audience,”foreign journalistshe added. study CUCin China provides each year, practicalmost from training developingin new countriesand innovativein Africa, techniquesAsia, and Europe.such as media
convergence,“China is the big world’s data, secondlargest smart solutions economyand next-generationand a signifi network stakeholder technology.in global The affairs, lectures but are its in soft English. power needs to manifest“The coursesitself throughare people very informative,”to people, heartsaid to Shamimheart dialogues,”Abdullah Hu Zahedy,said. executive
editor “Trainingfor the foreign Independent journalists in Bangladesh.in China “It allows introduced them meto experienceto new dimensionsthe country’sin newfull complexity,media and thus broadenedensuring more my objectivity understandingofthemedium.”and consideration when Professorthey portray ZhangWenhuiChina to of their audience,” he added.
CUC provides practical training in new and innovative techniques such as media convergence, big data, smart solutions and next-generation network technology. The lectures are in English.
“The courses are very informative,” said Shamim Abdullah Zahedy, executive editor for the Independent in Bangladesh. “It introduced me to new dimensions in new media and broadened my understanding of the medium.”
Professor Zhang Wenhui CUC, who teaches media of CUC, who teaches media technologies, said that China’s technologies, said that China’s hands-on experience can hands-onserve as experience a blueprint can for servethe as traineesa blueprintto developfor the the trainees media to develop industry the in mediatheir home industry countries. in their home countries.
Zhang Zhang had had an an interpreterinterpreter for for his his lecture, lecture, but but the the presentation presentation was was in in English English and and he he made made sure sure all all terminologiesterminologies were were in in sync sync with with internationalinternational standards. standards.“If someone“If someonewere to purchasewere to a purchaseset of equipment,a set of it equipment,would be it helpful would to be knowhelpful exactlyto know what exactlyit is called what on it theis internationalcalled on the market,” international Zhang said. market,” Zhang said.
But But Hu Hu said said some some material material is gearedis geared towards towards understandingunderstanding China. China.
“I “I avoid avoid using usingWesternWestern concepts concepts like like liberal liberal or or conservative conservative because because they they are are loadedloaded with with implications implications and and stereotypes stereotypes that thatmaymay not not reflectChina’sreflect China’s true true conditions,” conditions,” Hu Hu said. said.
When Whenintroducing introducing China Chinato to foreigners, foreigners,it is it crucialis crucialto let to let them them see see China China through through a a Chinese Chinese conceptual conceptual system, system, he said,he said, adding adding that that teachers teachers have to havebe to thoroughbe thoroughand honestand honest in the process.in the process.
InternationalInternational graduatesgraduates of of Tsinghua’s program often go Tsinghua’s program often go into international media, public relations or government organizations. “Some become the bridge that connects China and the world,” said Hang, into international media, public the program’s co-director. relations or government
The work of graduates has organizations. “Some become been significant. the bridge that connects China
ComptonNicholas James, a and the world,” said Hang, the US graduate of the program, program’s co-director. published an investigative
The work of graduates has report on how Chinese governmental been significant. and nongovernmental
Compton Nicholas James, a organizations tackle US graduate of the program, the issue of left-behind children published an investigative in China. report on how Chinese governmental
After graduating from the and nongovernmental program, Park Jinbum, a South organizations Korean tackle student,the issue becameof left-behinda producer children at in South China. Korean After graduating broadcasting from network the program, KBS Park and Jinbum, produceda South Super Korean China, student, anin-depthbecame a documentary producer at Southon China’s Korean rise broadcastingthat went viral networkin 2015. KBS and producedThe training Super programsChina, an not indepth only documentaryallow journalistson China’sto acquirerise that skills,went viralbut alsoin 2015. broaden The their trainingnetwork of programscontacts for not their only futureallow journalistsendeavors in to contentacquire skills, creation,but also said broadenSteven Dong,their networkdean of of the contacts Faculty forof Continuingtheir future endeavors Education in contentat CUC. creation, said Steven Dong, dean Dongof the said Facultyhe wouldof Continuinglike to see Educationmore mediaat CUC. collaboration, Dong such said as Legendshe would of like Song to andsee more Dance, mediaa joint, collaboration,2013 Chinese-Myanmar such as Legends of televisionSong and series Dance, a telling joint, 2013the Chinesestories between Myanmar the television Tang series Dynasty telling (618-907)the stories and betweenthe Kingdomthe Tangof Myanmar.Dynasty (618-907)The and series the Kingdomwas broadcastof Myanmar.in both countries.The series was Apart broadcast from in teachingboth countries.technical Apart skills, from teachingfuture media technical training skills, future programs media should training include programs courses shouldon content include production,courses on contentthus “laying production,the foundationthus “laying the for foundation all-around for media all-around cooperation”,media cooperation”,he said. he said.
Win Tin (right), from Myanmar, and Pham Thi Hai Ha (middle), from Vietnam, visit China Daily newsroom during their training program in Beijing on Sept 28.