Global Propaganda War Update: BBC Blocked in China

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) claimed on Monday that its English  language World Service radio channel is being jammed in China.  The BBC, Britain’s state media organisation, suggested that Chinese authorities  were responsible for the disruption.

“The BBC has received reports that World Service English shortwave  frequencies are being jammed in China,” said a BBC statement. The BBC strongly  condemns this action which is designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news  and information,” it added.

Suggesting that the Chinese government was behind the disruption, the BBC  said that although ”it is not possible at this stage to attribute the  source of the jamming definitively, the extensive and coordinated efforts are  indicative of a well-resourced country such as China.”

This is not first time that Chinese authorities, who impose strict controls  and censorship on  its domestic  media organisations, have been accused of blocking foreign  news media.

Last year the BBC accused China of censoring its World News Television  Channel by using jamming techniques to disrupt broadcasts on sensitive issues.  The BBC website has also run afoul of China’s tight internet  controls, and is consistently blocked. US state-funded Voice of America  Radio and Radio Free Asia have has similar experiences. Recently there have also  been accusations made by media organisations such as the New York Times, which  reported at the end of January this year that its computers had been attacked by  Chinese hackers.

World Propaganda Wars

Whilst China is certainly one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to  media censorship – ranking at 173 out of 179 countries on a World Press  Freedom Index compiled by campaign group Reporters Without Borders – this is  part of a much broader propaganda war whose tentacles stretch across the  globe.



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