The report is based on an original survey that polled 54 journalist unions from 50 different countries and territories. The survey probed the extent of China’s global media outreach in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report notes, “Beijing has managed to parlay the pandemic into positive coverage for its handling of the new coronavirus. Globally, 56 per cent of all countries reported that coverage of China in their country had become more positive overall since the Covid-19 outbreak, while only 24 per cent said coverage of China had become more negative. The percentage of respondents reporting memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Chinese bodies remained stable at around one-third, with several respondents remarking that travel bans had frozen negotiations regarding media agreements.”
The report also includes polling and analysis of China’s approach to vaccine diplomacy; “of the countries surveyed, 42 per cent are recipients of China’s Covid-19 vaccine… 57 per cent of Chinese vaccine recipients said they had seen attempts by Chinese actors to shape media narratives regarding local politics in their countries, compared to 34 percent of nonrecipient countries. Recipient countries also reported a slightly higher presence of Chinese state-run media or state actors on social media.”
The IFJ launch will feature a discussion about the findings of the report between its authors, Louisa Lim and Julia Bergin, followed by a panel discussion with prominent journalists and media personalities on China’s approach to global media. The event will be en English.
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