xi's moments
Home | Op-Ed Contributors

Working together for better mutual understanding

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-16 07:33

We must never lose sight of our role as society's watchdogs. We must hold our communities, our nations, BRICS, to account. We tell the stories wanting them to succeed, it is only right that we be vigilant in exposing cases where these stories have not succeeded because of individual greed or the corruption of officials.

We live in an era of information overload, an era where social media has liberated consumers to such an extent that it is ironically more difficult than ever to tell stories that matter instead of stories that titillate. The other downside of this information free-for-all is the advent of an environment where rumour and conjecture, prejudice and bias, can manifest themselves as news, or what we now term fake news.

The role of the traditional media has never been more important than it is now, to do what it is supposed to do, to mediate the often-confusing world outside in a way that is objective, fair and impartial, allowing real news to triumph in a sea of which is not always so obviously fake.

As media from China and South Africa, we can use this opportunity to forge bonds, to learn from one another, to discuss the shortcomings we might have and find solutions to problems that are actually common to both of us, reflecting the needs of our realities.

Kevin Ritchie, regional executive editor of Independent Media

* * *

China-African media exchanges are still far from realizing the expectations. Media coverage of Africa by Chinese media and China by African media is limited. Although some leading Chinese media have established a presence in Africa, the coverage, the allocation of their offices and journalists and the extent of their localization are far from enough to satisfy the thirst for understanding Africa. And on the other side, there are few media from African countries in China. The coverage about China mainly relies on research and study exchange programs between Chinese and African media. This objective reality means most news coverage between China and Africa resorts to Western media coverage.

Kang Bing, deputy editor-in-chief and vice-president of China Daily

* * *

In the Chinese media, Africa can be summarized with a number of key phases: unique natural landscape, great development potential and plagued by diseases and wars.

African media coverage of China is mainly the economy, politics, sports, culture and its science and technology. Appraisals on China are mainly affirmation of China's economic development, science and technology; affirmation of China's contribution to Africa in investment, assistance and trade; and affirmation that compared with Western countries, China is a more equal partner.

The negative reports about China are mainly grabbing resources and providing shoddy commodities, which are partially due to the distorted coverage by Western media.

If you want to know the real situation of a place, you have to see it for yourself. Therefore, I sincerely hope the Chinese and African media can have more mutual visits to improve each country's understanding of the other.

An Wei, deputy president of Beijing Daily Group

* * *

Chinese and African media should strengthen their cooperation to break the stubborn images portrayed by some Western media. We should contribute to the real, considerable and overall coverage of China and Africa. Efforts should be made to set up a cooperation mechanism to expand media exchanges to show developing Africa, emerging Africa and multifaceted Africa to China with objective reports; help African countries express their views and tell their own stories; and give more coverage to China-Africa cooperation.

He Shan, chief editor of the English Department of the China Internet Information Center

* * *

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of infrastructure or modern infrastructure has been the major obstacle for the development of the region. Most countries rely on infrastructure that was inherited from colonial times and which is now dilapidated because funds are too scarce to meet the maintenance needs. This predicament has negatively affected the investment climate and jeopardized both economic development and existing poverty reduction strategies. China is now playing a major role in developing major highways, railways, irrigation projects on the African continent.

Whenever you have development projects on this scale, there will always be a downside but we must critically ask ourselves the question: Does Africa benefit from China? In my view, the answer is yes. Of course, China seeks resources and African countries seek funds to develop their infrastructure, and the devil will always be in the detail for critics opposed to this partnership.

Chrispin Mbagna Inambao, chief editor of the New Era, Namibia

* * *

Media cooperation is an important bridge for China and Africa to enhance their mutual understanding and promote their friendship. At the same time, stories of Chinese enterprises in Africa will bring more Chinese investment to Africa, which will promote and strengthen the economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa.

Benjamin Thomas Mgana, chief editor of the Guardian, Tanzania

* * *

I am aware that Chinese media are more interested in telling the African stories from the African perspective rather than the hand-me-down scripts of the Western media which see nothing good about the continent but only stories of wars, conflicts, diseases, drought, famine, and crime. Chinese media present hope and portray the potential, as well as possibility of the countries on the continent to attain greatness.

Olanrewaju Timothy Kola, The Sun, Nigeria

* * *

We hold active approach in reporting Africa which is completely different from the Western media represented by the BBC and CNN. Africa has its positive side. Many African countries are undertaking reforms and the speed of economic development ranks among the top. We encourage African people to tell their own stories, 90 percent of the employees of our English language channel are Africans from Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. We pay attention to fostering young African media workers by cooperating with local universities.

Pang Xinhua, Acting Bureau Chief of CCTV Africa

* * *

The forum gives us an opportunity to collectively reflect on how the cooperation between Africa and China is portrayed since we offer a platform and act as moderators of varying opinions on this. As a journalist, I see that African countries cherish the collaboration with China on various fronts.

Let me propose that the media in Africa and East Africa need, in particular, to portray the positive context of Africa-China cooperation as a way to avoid animosity and ensure accountability on both sides.

James Tasamba, News Editor of the New Times, Rwanda

* * *

I visited Beijing in September 2002. My perception about China changed after my visit. Before my visit, I thought the Chinese resented visitors. However, I found the Chinese to be warm and friendly, and I was impressed by how the Chinese are able to make long-term development plans.

To enhance cooperation between China-Africa media, I propose a closer interaction between the Chinese and Kenyan media. Exchange programs by journalists from both countries would help journalists to understand the media terrain in these regions.

Andrew Kagwa Gathaara, chief editor of the Standard, Kenya

* * *

Today, the world is moving at a faster pace, with the media being at the centre of it. The media, being the fulcrum of communication, is an important means to foster relations between Africa and China. We all agree that the media, being what it is, is able to bring about a more positive perception and a better understanding of the Chinese people to the African people and vice-versa.

Future cooperation between Chinese and African media still has a number of areas to focus on. Exchange programs should be encouraged, as an ongoing activity. There should also be a good number of Chinese people attached to the media in Africa. This will give them a better understanding of African media operations.

Judith Liemisa Konayuma, editor of the Zambia Daily Mail

* * *

China has rapidly become an important player in the capacity building of media practitioners in Ghana, and Africa. China offers scholarships to journalists to study in China for their master's degrees in various communication-related courses such as Development Communication and International Communication. Beneficiaries have demonstrated improvement in their output on return from their studies.

Elvis Darko, chief editor of the Finder, Ghana

* * *

The unfortunate thing is that the media in Africa still looks to the West, with the belief that they are the only ones with strategies that work.

No African country is in a win-win situation with the West, but they are with China. China is now a global economic and political powerhouse that designed its own media model that can be replicated by African countries to achieve success and prosperity. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Tendai Hildagard Manzvanzvike, chief editor of the Herald, Zimbabwe


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349