Audio and video news webcasts by VOA and other foreign government broadcasters
VOA is a US government-operated radio station which offers news programming in many world languages. Originally broadcast only by shortwave, their material has been available on the Internet for a number of years now.
Their webcasts may be of interest to anyone at the Advanced level.
Unfortunately, you probably can't access these from within China! But then again, if you're in China, you only have to turn on your TV for an endless source of language-learning material from newscasts.
(select "Mandarin" from the list and click on "Select Language")
The material is available in RealAudio, Microsoft, or MP3 format.
One benefit of newscasts for language learning (apart from the use of good standard Mandarin pronunciation) is that vocabulary items often tend to be repeated over several days as a particular news story develops, which can be a good way to reinforce learning through repetition. One drawback is that it's mostly news-related vocabulary, so you'll learn words like "earthquake" and "negotiations" without ever encountering daily-life vocabulary.
There are some other national-government radio newscasts available over the Internet, including Radio Canada International and BBC News
Again, these will not be available from within China, so it's mostly of interest to advanced learners worldwide who don't have access to Mandarin on the radio or on TV.
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