Professor Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History and the Official Historian of the BBC, was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 about broadcasting to China.


Professor Jean Seaton discussed the BBC’s history of broadcasting to China. She said: “The BBC started to broadcast into China out of a set of people including George Orwell, who was part of the team, William Empson, the great British poet who had been at Peking before that, Bernard Crowther, editor of Nature, in 1941 and at that point they did quite interesting things like put advances of science into China. They were very keen to broadcast the latest developments into science. The BBC has been broadcasting in and out of China ever since then but has been frequently banned.”

She later added: “There has been a long and complicated relationship both in Mandarin and Chinese partly because the World Service, unlike say Voice of America, very much is based on the principal that you will broadcast into those nations what is useful for them, their points of view, and you’re not just putting over the British point of view, but reporting has become increasingly difficult.”

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