Monday, April 26, 2010

Being on the Receiving End of Voice of America

Or, information dissemination activities like VOA. John Pomfret at the Post has an article on China's attempts to spread its influence by a Voice of America style effort.
The stations don't broadcast outright propaganda, but rather programming with a Chinese focus and flavor, tailored for local audiences. In Galveston, the format mixes China-centric international news, talk shows about the status of China's women and a healthy dose of gangsta rap -- all in English.
In New York, China's official Xinhua News Agency is moving its North American headquarters from a small building in Queens to a sprawling office complex in Times Square. It will soon have more than twice as many bureaus in the United States as any Western news agency has in China.
What I found interesting were the cultural misunderstandings which the Chinese have to overcome in order to communicate with us.  Reminds me of past discussions of the problems the US government, and large corporations, have had in operating abroad.  (Supposedly Chevrolet's Novas were a flop in Mexico because the name meant "no go", etc. etc.

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