During a tour of Universities in the Washington D.C. Area of the United States, Jim Laurie, the JMSC’s Director of Broadcasting, spoke about the world expansion of China’s state media at an event organised by George Washington University and the Asia Society on November 8th.
Laurie addressed a packed room of nearly seventy students, faculty, and Asia Society members at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (IPDGC) at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. He told the group that China through China Central Television and a new Xinhua initiative known as CNC, has embarked on an aggressive effort to reach out to the world through better produced English language television news channels.
Laurie quoted a top executive at Xinhua who he met in Beijing in October as saying “China must pursue media market opportunities in the West and correct misperceptions of China by presenting the true face of the country.” He said China joins Qatar’s Al Jazeera English, Russia’s RT, Japan’s NHK World, and France’s France 24 as state-funded channels set up in the past five years, which seek to present alternative views of the news. Laurie, who also serves as a consultant to China Central Television, cautioned that compared to the other news channels, CCTV and Xinhua face serious issues of credibility because of the extensive restrictions imposed on news content by the Chinese government.
Laurie, who joined the JMSC in September 2005, served as an international news correspondent for both NBC News and ABC News for more than 25 years and is well known for his reporting in Asia. He first travelled to China in November 1978 and opened the first American television news bureau in Beijing in July 1981.
Laurie has also served in management positions for News Corporation and as a management and training consultant to Indian television channels as well as to the Al Jazeera English news channel. He is also the winner of two television Emmies, an Overseas Press Club Award and a Peabody for his Vietnam War reporting.