China, Africa media work together
Strides made by the media in Africa and China in telling their own stories won applause on Tuesday during the high-level China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum 2020.
The virtual event was organized by the Chinese embassy in Kenya and the Media Council of Kenya. It coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, or FOCAC.
Speakers focused on the impact of digitization on journalistic practice and regulatory issues in the media industry.
While welcoming guests to the event, Zhou Pingjian, China's ambassador to Kenya, said the forum was a product of the FOCAC growing into an important and dynamic platform for China and Africa to carry out collective dialogue as well as an effective mechanism for practical cooperation.
"The fourth industrial revolution, characterized by the digital technologies among others, has ushered in a new era for both China and Africa. Huge potential of digital innovations are emerging all across the continent," Zhou said.
"The media has acted as an early bird in this regard. During the pandemic, many media houses have speeded up their digitization process to adapt to the new normal, which is very inspiring."
While calling for Africa and China to step up cooperation in the digital arena, Maina Muiruri, chairman of the Media Council of Kenya, said the reliance on Western media had ended up painting a negative picture of Africa which needs to be changed.
"If an election had occurred in Africa and the loser refused to concede defeat, you would see how Western media would start calling him a dictator and calling for the African Union or other bodies to intervene and have the leader thrown out. However, they do not do that when it is one of their own," Muiruri said.
Giving his remarks from China, Tian Yuhong, executive secretary of the All China Journalists Association, said Chinese and African media should foster exchanges aimed at promoting convergence in a digital era while countering misleading narratives from Western media on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to calling for joint promotion of the development of media convergence while collaborating in stepping up training in media convergence, Tian said Africa and China need to jointly resist smear reports of Western media by telling their own stories.