By XINHUI WANG
Monash’s large number of Chinese media students had a taste of home with a visit from a major Chinese media company last week.
The Anhui Broadcasting Corporation, a provincial public broadcasting controlled by the Anhui government in eastern China, visited MFJ and the Monash Media Lab last week, bringing Traffic Broadcasting Frequency Director Zhou Yuan, and 15 TV anchors and journalists.
With 80 per cent Chinese students out of 450 Masters in Communication and Media Studies, it provided a chance for them to get close to the media in their home country.
Chinese media companies are growing rapidly, with the film and TV industries also going through major expansion. Chinese programs can regularly be seen on local TV screens, including the widely popular If You Are The One.
Monash Associate Professor Olivia Khoo said Australia was increasingly interested in the booming Asian media market, with the launching of an Asian film award from the Australian Academy for Film and Television Arts (AACTA).
And WeChat, the massive Chinese social media site, is also expanding into Australia, following the large number of international students who study here. WeChat is more personal than Facebook and other apps, and does not allow media groups to buy subscribers.
Mr Yuan said Anhui Broadcasting’s official WeChat account had more than 500,000 subscribers, and was highly profitable.
“I feel Australian radio broadcasting sector can focus more on contents rather than both producing and marketing, but there is more competition in China,” he said.
In a roundtable discussion, Associate Professor Tony Moore said it was important for students to understand the importance of having a media that was not controlled or censored by the government.
He said the ABC was owned and funded by the federal government, but not controlled by it, even though it did try to exert some control by cutting budgets.
“Many politicians dislike the ABC and criticise the system but also value it by criticising their opponents,” he said.
Mr Yuan showed an interest in Monash’s new Bachelor of Media Communication, which aims to bring traditional and new media together, and the delegation also toured the Monash Media Lab studio facilities.
Monash bilingual lecturer Dr Xin Gu had a direct and deeper dialogue to the Anhui delegation about her students’ practice in cross-culture media management. MFJ and Anhui Broadcasting corporation will work together to create internships for Chinese students and those with a strong interest in Chinese media.