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CCTV invests in talent

(China Daily)

08:36, July 04, 2012

Beatrice Marshall is a big name African TV presenter who has been headhunted by CCTV.

A former news anchor for KTN (Kenya Television Network), she is now a regular screen presence for the Chinese television station from its new Nairobi studios.

"It was a very big decision for me because I was the face of KTN. I had been there for 14 years and was very much part of the station," she says.

She says her decision to switch channels was swayed by bureau chief Song Jianing's vision for CCTV Africa.

"I was very much hooked by this idea of showing what really goes on in Africa," she says.

"You get a 1980s or 1990s view from a lot of media and the real Africa now is massively different."

Eric Njorka, 27, another journalist recruited from KTN in January, says CCTV has given him more scope.

"While I have been here I have been able to travel to four African countries and it has given me a broader experience," he says.

He says he is also impressed by the work ethic of his Chinese colleagues in the newsroom.

"You need to try and be as fast as they are. We like calling them workaholics," he says.

Marshall says CCTV is prepared to invest in talent but did not want to discuss details of her particular package.

"The pay rate here is very competitive," she says.

She says it is CCTV's global scope that means it can compete directly with rivals like CNN and Al Jazeera, which impresses her.

"If I want to do a program with somebody from Russia, I can link to our Russia office and speak live to them from our studio," she says.

"Every night we speak to our people in New York and London and South Africa for business. We also have 14 functional bureaus across Africa. If something happens in Cairo, Libya or Angola, we are there."

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