The international arm of China’s main state-backed TV broadcaster is launching a newsroom of up to 50 journalists in the UK, HuffPost UK has learned.
China Global Television Network (CGTN) is currently recruiting staff for a “digital and television hub” to open in London at the end of the year.
People being approached to run the operation are being told the bureau will produce “daily digital and social media output” as part of a “full-scale news operation”.
CGTN is part of China Central Television (CCTV), which has been widely criticised for self-censorship and an unwillingness to portray the Chinese government in a negative light.
Speaking shortly after CGTN launched a US arm, communication scholar Philip Cunningham of Cornell University said: “It looks and smells like state TV ... I think it’s still propaganda.”
CGTN’s tagline is “See the Difference” and says it will “specialise in impartial news”, covering “stories often ignored by the traditional broadcasters”.
It won’t be the first international branch of a foreign state-sponsored broadcaster to be based in the UK: Russia already has a state-owned operation in London, with its RT channel using the slogan “Question More”.
RT is currently the subject of a number of Ofcom investigations into the network’s impartiality.