CAPE TOWN — A media forum on July 18 called on news organizations to promote dialogue between people around the world.
Co-hosted by South Africa’s Independent Media chain and China’s Xinhua News Agency, the third BRICS Media Forum opened with the theme of BRICS Media Cooperation — Fostering an Inclusive, Just World Order, and included representatives from 48 BRICS media organizations.
The media’s role was highlighted at a panel chaired by Japhet Ncube, editor of The Star, one of South Africa’s largest English-language daily newspapers.
Fang Jiangshan, deputy editor-in-chief of People’s Daily, stressed that the media has a prominent role in ensuring a paradigm shift because it is “the reporter of our time”.
Fang said BRICS countries should “share information on economic growth” and that this should be underwritten by a “fight for multilateralism”.
Media within BRICS countries should be positive and inspiring in challenging negative narratives and “tell the good BRICS stories”, Fang said.
Humberto Rezende, an online editor for Correio Braziliense, said there are common narratives within BRICS countries, but opportunities for partnerships are not fully understood. Rezende said cooperation is necessary to overcome poverty and find “a sustainable way to a just world order”.
The need to take initiative and present a comprehensive narrative of the BRICS positions to build broad traction was also addressed by Sun Shangwu, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily.
Sun said the true narrative that needs to emerge more clearly is that “BRICS countries now have more say in the world”.
Addressing the changing media landscape, Mukund Padmanabhan, editor of The Hindu, said that “in talking about strengthening the BRICS narrative, we are talking about not merely the media’s role but, critically, also its responsibilities”.
“I think if we are collectively going to strengthen the BRICS narrative ... we must ask ourselves not merely how much more influence we can wield in this unequal world, but how much more responsible we can be in a world where the practice of journalism is undergoing profound changes with the advent of the digital age and the growing influence of social media,” Padmanabhan said.
Wang Xiaohui, editor-in-chief of China.org.cn, touching on the development of the mobile internet, said that media in BRICS countries should make full use of new technologies and applications presented in the era of new media to tell the stories and convey the voices of BRICS to the world more effectively.