External-National TV News Networks’ Way to America: Is the United States Losing the Global “Information War”?

Shuang Xie, Oliver Boyd-Barrett


Hillary Clinton declared in 2011 that the United States is losing the global “information war.” Her principal concern was with what she perceived as declining U.S. news media hegemony overseas, and she specified Al Jazeera, CCTV, and RT as examples of threats. Drawing upon the history of these networks, the U.S. market’s reception, and their recruiting strategies, we find that the limited reception of these networks renders them of only marginal significance. While they exhibit some variation from the U.S. mainstream, their potential for diversity or even challenge to hegemonic narratives is considerably constrained by the goal and perceived economic necessity of gaining acceptance within the mainstream, coupled with substantial reliance on Western media information resources. These features appear to be a characteristic, not simply of these channels’ U.S. initiatives, but also of their foreign market orientation globally. They are therefore better seen as exemplifying a continuity of, not an alternative to, the dominant status of the Anglo-American model in the global news landscape.


Al Jazeera America, CCTV America, flow and counter flow, global information war, RT, soft power

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