It was announced today that China will build several new-types of media groups that are strong, influential and credible.
It’s an interesting development and suggests that the feeling in China is that it’s global media power is lagging behind its industrial and economic importance. There have also been several widely publicised and high profile scalps at the top of some media businesses as the leadership continues its anti graft campaign. The announcement this week probably also signals a desire at the top of the government to sort out some blockages to allow new policies on media and journalism to have some space for change.
If one did an international research study into global media owners the list would be mainly American with the BBC and Sky making the cut. Perhaps Al Jezeera might also appear.
But consumers outside of China might struggle to name a Chinese media company. That is going to change. Watching the news as regularly as I do in China there are increasing similarities in production values, reporting style and structure to those promulgated and
Rooted by the likes of CNN and The BBC. Interesting fly there are no comparisons to Fox News or some of the other international stations I have had to endure in some hotels in the last few years.
These media brands, which is what they will become, will serve the global Chinese community, the mobile C Suite and of course, the rapidly growing Chinese tourist market.
In the same way that Alibaba is a genuine threat to Amazon and WeChat an alternative to Facebook, the new media groups will be as salient as CNN or The Economist and equally as important for advertisers and their media agencies.
As shares in the main Chinese media businesses start to rise it will be interesting to see the changes which will be put in place to make a hitherto somewhat ‘managed’ media which will make it a world player on the delivery of news. The signs are already there that China will follow the ‘flight to quality’ in picking the ‘best of the best’ from around the world and blending it to make their own Chinese style media businesses both credible and – one hopes – world beatingly independent.