EXC: BBC Journalists Now Employed By Chinese State Media


China Global Television Network – the Chinese Communist Party’s go-to propaganda machine which has repeatedly breached the United Kingdom’s media regulator’s impartiality standards – employs several former British Broadcasting Corporation correspondents and anchors, The National Pulse can reveal.

This follows The National Pulse exposing a similar relationship between the Chinese state media operation and U.S. establishment outlet CNN.

The British government’s Office of Communications (Ofcom), responsible for regulating the country’s broadcast media, ruled that the China Global Television Network (CGTN) breached impartiality standards with its coverage of Hong Kong protests on five occasions in “a serious failure of compliance.” Ofcom is deciding whether fining or revoking the outlet’s broadcasting license is the proper recourse, and many have championed the latter.

CGTN’s international disinformation campaign – which has resulted in the airing of forced confessions by British nationals – aligns with President Xi Jinping’s 2016 decree that “wherever the readers are, wherever the viewers are, that is where propaganda reports must extend their tentacles.”

Despite this, there’s an apparent door between CGTN and the taxpayer-funded BBC: former employees are now helping to create and amplify content for an outlet whose raison dêtre is to extol the CCP.


Paulo Cabral used to cover Brazil for the BBC but now covers the same beat for CGTN.

The outlet touts his credentials in his bio:

Cabral worked for BBC for about nine years, initially as a producer and presenter in the BBC World Service, in London, and then as a correspondent in Washington D.C., Cairo and lately in his hometown, São Paulo.
As a mouthpiece for the CCP, Cabral has hailed China as an “an important source of much-needed investment” for countries such as Brazil, concluding that “China is taking the U.S.’s place in Latin America.” He’s also spoken fawningly of the country’s Belt and Road initiative, a ruse whereby the CCP acquires stakes in the infrastructure and industries of developing countries through predatory acquisitions and investment.

Cabral has even appeared alongside high-ranking CCP officials to slam President Trump’s tariffs as damaging the global economy.

Owen Fairclough, formerly a BBC producer and reporter, now serves CGTN as a reporter at the outlet’s Washington, D.C. bureau.
Parroting the CCP, he’s criticized President Trump’s trade war, emphasizing “the cost of these trade conflicts waged by the Trump administration has been priced beyond lower growth for individual countries.” He’s pushed the same narrative in other segments, casting the trade war as “waged by the U.S. against China,” while offering no explanation for the Trump administration’s motives for introducing tariffs: trade deficits, job loss, intellectual property theft, and more.
Fairclough also casts President Trump “blaming China for starting the pandemic” as mistaken and has dismissed national security concerns about the introduction of Huawei – described by U.S. Intelligence Officials as offering a “backdoor” for CCP access – into Western technological infrastructure.

Dan Collyns’s BBC credentials are also apparent in his CGTN bio:

Collyns was formerly the BBC’s correspondent in Peru where he has been based since 2006. […] Before moving to South America, Dan worked at BBC World Service radio as a writer and producer.

Collyns has produced and anchored segments including “China supports Latin America in COVID-19 fight,” hailing the CCP’s “mask diplomacy” as altruistic and ignoring the country’s weaponization of the crisis to boost its public image and establish inroads in foreign countries.

Collyns echoes the CCP’s crusade to replace the U.S. in global standing: “As U.S. halts funding to the World Health Organization and cuts support for the pan-American health organization, the region is turning to a more reliable partner during this pandemic: China.”

Collyns’s segments have also included “Peru turns to China for fruit and vegetable exports.”

Franc Contreras is another BBC-affiliated individual now working as a CGTN senior correspondent. He’s produced segments advocating for closer ties between Latin America and China, casting increased Chinese investment in the region as “indicators of Beijing’s growing influence.”
While lauding China for “investments worth up to 10 billion dollars over the next three years mainly in the energy and mining sectors,” Contreras neglects to mention how targeted foreign direct investment is the top driver of job loss and predatory acquisitions.

Another BBC turned CGTN staffer is Tony Cheng, whose bio notes he’s “an International Correspondent based in Bangkok, who worked previously for the BBC.” When covering the novel coronavirus pandemic – spawned and spread by the CCP – he noted that people were “nervous” after seeing “everything that’s happened in the United States and Europe,” failing to mention China entirely.

CGTN has been identified as a “long-standing weapon in Beijing’s arsenal of repression” whose raison d’être is “to attack designated enemies of the Communist Party,” chiefly the west. Headquartered in Beijing, funded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and controlled by the regime’s Publicity Department, the outlet is inundated with undeservedly pro-China propaganda.

The National Pulse has reached out to the BBC for comment on its revolving door with the CCP’s foreign influence operation, CGTN, but at the time of publication, has not heard back.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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