International Workshop on China's Media Assistance to Africa

Thursday, 10 June, 2010 (All day) - Friday, 11 June, 2010 (All day)

On 10-11 June 2010 the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy will host researchers from China, Africa and Europe to reflect on China’s increasing influence on the media in Africa and on the implications this has for traditional approaches to media assistance and media development on the continent and beyond. Media assistance, either through direct financial assistance, the training of journalists or regulators, legal aid or technical support, has been a common way governments try to extend influence within a country and support a particular political process. Since the end of the cold war it has been dominated by Western powers which have framed the media as watchdogs and as a democratizing force and often supported the so-called 'independent' media. In the past few years, however, this approach has started to be challenged by the greater emphasis placed by China on reinforcing the state-owned media so as to increase the capacity of governments to communicate with their citizens, supporting academic institutions that encourage 'developmental journalism', and the transfer of communications technology that allows for greater control of information.
The scholars gathering in Oxford will be asked to develop new methods and strategies to study and understand these new scenarios as well as to propose ways in which different approaches can coexist rather than compete.