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‘Media should promote’ China-Africa relations

Pan Zhongming/Liu Xuan
Updated: Aug 15,2017 7:30 AM     China Daily

Photo taken on Aug 14, 2017 shows the China-Africa Media Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Chinese and African media houses on Aug 14 agreed to deepen cooperation in information sharing, best practice and training to improve the dissemination of information about Sino-Africa relations.[Photo/Xinhua]

Media from China and Africa should become recorders and disseminators of China-Africa friendship and the witnesses and promoters of Sino-African cooperation, Guo Weimin, vice-minister of the State Council Information Office, said during the China-Africa Media Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Aug 14.

About 20 editors from Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and China participated in the forum, which is hosted by the Information Office of State Council. It aims to boost exchanges between Chinese and African media and strengthen fair media coverage of both sides.

“Chinese and African media should promote pragmatic cooperation,” Guo said. “Mutual understanding and recognition between the Chinese and African media are far from enough, and there is a large amount of room and potential for cooperation between Chinese and African media.”

Lin Songtian, Chinese ambassador to South Africa, also encouraged the media to tell truthful stories of China-Africa cooperation, offer guidance to public opinion, identify opportunities and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.

“Media cooperation is an important bridge for China and Africa to enhance mutual understanding and promote friendship,” said Benjamin Thomas Mgana, chief editor of The Guardian newspaper in Tanzania. “Stories of Chinese enterprises in Africa will bring more Chinese investment to Africa, which will promote and strengthen economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa.”

Kevin Ritchie, regional executive editor of Independent Media Group, a South African company, said: “We must never lose sight of our role as society’s watchdogs. We must hold our communities, our nations, BRICS, to account.”

Kang Bing, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily, said that China-African media exchanges fall bellow expectations.

“Media coverage of both Africa by Chinese media and China by African media is greatly limited. Although some Chinese leading media have set up establishments in Africa, the coverage does not satisfy the thirst for understanding Africa.

“On the other hand, there are few African media in China. The situation has made most news coverage default to Western media,” Kang said.

The forum is co-organized by Xinhua News Agency and Independent Media Group of South Africa.

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