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In the context of an accelerated 'media going-out' policy (SARFT, 2001), China Central Television launched in 2007 its Spanish-language channel: China Global Television Network en Espanol (CGTN-Espanol, formerly known as CCTV-Espanol). Born as a top-down initiative to enhance the country's soft power (Nye, 1990), CGTN-Espanol has been tasked with promoting Chinese culture, creating an alternative media discourse and making Beijing's official voice heard and understood in Spanish speaking countries. This article aims to study the development of CGTN-Espanol, as a vehicle of China's 'multichannel, multiform and multilevel' soft power strategy (CPC Central Committee, 2011), at international level. At methodological level, it mainly draws on the review and analysis of a wide range of materials: official documents of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, sectoral reports of the State Administration of Press, Publishing, Radio, Film and Television, publications on Chinese TV industry, CCTV's yearbooks and unpublished internal documents. Firstly, it addresses the economic-political and cultural factors that led to the establishment of the Beijing-based Spanish language service. Secondly, it explores how the general agenda of the 'media going-out' policy has affected CGTN-Espanol in terms of staff, production, programming and audience strategy, while factors like cultural proximity, content distinctiveness and local audiences' tastes have also been taken into consideration. Finally, the article discusses the reception and audience of CGTN-Espanol. It concludes that CGTN-Espanol, with its China-focused and cultural and linguistically adapted offering, contributes to the achievement of the goal of the 'media going-out' policy; however, this contribution is largely limited by its low visibility, which points to some inherent problems of the policy itself.
cgtn-espanol; 'media going-out' policy; soft power; spanish speaking countries