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The Future of 24-Hour News

New Directions, New Challenges

Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook

Over the last 30 years 24-hour television news channels have reshaped the practice and culture of journalism. But the arrival of new content and social media platforms over recent years has challenged their power and authority, with fast-changing technologies accelerating the speed of news delivery and reshaping audience behaviour. Following on from The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives (Cushion and Lewis, 2010), this volume explores new challenges and pressures facing television news channels, and considers the future of 24-hour news. Featuring a wide range of industry and academic perspectives, including the heads of some of the major international news channels (BBC Global News, Al Jazeera and Sky News, among others) as well as leading academics from around the world, contributors reflect on how well rolling television news is reinventing itself for digital platforms and the rapidly changing expectations of audiences. Overall, the 24 chapters in this volume deliver fresh insights into how 24-hour news channels have redefined rolling news journalism – or potentially could do – in order to remain relevant and effective in supplying continuous news for 21st-century audiences.
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Chapter 24: CCTV 24-Hour Chinese-Language News: From Offline to Online



CCTV 24-Hour Chinese-Language News: From Offline to Online


24-hour television news is still a relatively new phenomena rooted in American journalism that has influenced the world’s media landscape for many decades. The US domination had been considered unbreakable by some scholars. In 1977, in a rather pessimistic, but perceptive, prediction, Tunstall (1977: 63; emphasis added) said that “a non-American way out of the media box is difficult to discover because it is an American, or Anglo-American, built box. The only way out is to construct a new box, and this, with the possible exception of the Chinese, no nation seems keen to do.” Tunstall was certainly right to anticipate the rise of a Chinese built TV box—China Central Television (CCTV)—but missed the mark when, to name just a few, Al Jazeera (1996), CCTV-9 (2000), Russia Today (2005), France 24 (2006), Iran’s Press TV (2007), Japan’s NHK World TV (2009), and Venezuela’s TeleSur (2010) have joined the chorus of global TV news since the mid-1990s. Against the backdrop of growing attention to China’s rise on the global stage, the institutional transformation of CCTV is particularly significant, both internally and externally. The Chinese government has been developing a systemic approach to establishing regular channels for the projection of soft power, and CCTV is at the heart of this grand initiative.

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