[T]hese approaches take a Manichean prism that highlights the fears and hopes of Chinese presence in Africa. It is for this reason thatChinese Media in Africa: Perception, Performance, and Paradox becomes a must-read. . . . the author has attempted to fill a number of gaps in the literature about the impact of Chinese media in Africa. His hybridization perspective provides a nuanced approach to the understanding of Chinese influence, especially that most studies take a Manichean prism. Further, the use of interviews gives strength to the study, in the sense that we are able to hear the voices of journalists.
In this book, Dr. Emeka Umejei has succeeded in weaving a mosaic of divergent philosophical thoughts that undergird the performance of different media systems. And he succeeds in creating a narrative about why and how different world media systems behave the way they do. In this case, Chinese media in Africa and how they interact and overlap with local media systems. It is obvious, although not always apparent, that these media systems are in Africa to support the political and economic objectives of their parent country. This is what this book unravels.
Chinese Media in Africa is an important intervention into the study of China-Africa relations and global communication. It illuminates the dynamic voices of African journalists within Chinese media—their aspirations and everyday struggles—often left hidden in ideological debates about China in Africa. By demonstrating the possibility for coexistence between Chinese and Western media practices and values in Africa, Dr. Emeka further transforms our understanding of journalism in the Global South.
An essential, and empirically grounded, contribution to understand how China is expanding its media footprint in Africa. Umejei engages both with the fears and promises associated with the rise of Chinese media on a global scale, and offers a much-needed reality check through the voices of the journalists who have lived through different stages of China’s unprecedented attempt to speak to African audiences.