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Xinhua president urges BRICS media to strive for bigger say on world stage

News organizations in the world's leading developing countries should join hands to play a bigger role in international communication, says President Li Congjun of China's Xinhua News Agency.

Li made the appeal in a signed article published Tuesday as leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza for the sixth summit of the emerging-market bloc known as BRICS.

BRICS news organizations should make use of the BRICS mechanism to deepen cooperation and "strive to make their voices heard throughout the world," Li said in the article, titled "BRICS news organizations can play a bigger role in international communication" and carried by mainstream media in Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and some other countries.

The Xinhua president noted that although the global information flow remains unbalanced, the rapid development of the Internet and the Mobile Web has provided emerging economies with more diversified, equalized and easy-to-access channels of communication.

As representatives of the world's emerging economies, the BRICS countries have laid a solid foundation for economic cooperation. Yet, their political influence on the international community remains weak. This weakness is not in line with the need for emerging economies to participate in international affairs and their desire to do so, Li wrote.

Noting that media organizations of the BRICS countries face similar external environments and have similar motivations, Li suggested that they should join hands to play a bigger role in international communication.

To that end, he put forward a four-point proposal.

First, taking into consideration the interests of the BRICS countries as a whole, BRICS media organizations should strengthen cooperation and coordinate their stances.

Li pointed to a situation media organizations of BRICS countries have to face: With rapid and well-recognized economic development in their countries, BRICS members are being required to shoulder increasingly heavy international responsibilities, but the rules of burden distribution and execution are obviously in favor of traditional Western powers.

"Of course, emerging economies should not shirk their responsibilities, but the responsibilities they take must match the level of their political and economic development," he said.

Media organizations of the BRICS countries, he added, should have a clear understanding of the need to safeguard the overall interests of BRICS countries, and should speak in a coordinated manner as a result of their common position and have their voices amplified with joint force.

Second, media organizations of the BRICS countries should exchange experience among them with the purpose of safeguarding the images of their countries and learn to tell facts in an objective and effective manner.

Media organizations in those countries should enhance exchanges to learn the strategy and narrative technique to win the respect of the world, and to find effective ways to project the national images in an objective and ample manner, he said.

Third, media organizations of the BRICS countries should make use of the platform of the World Media Summit (WMS) to help enhance mutual trust and clear up misunderstanding.

Initiated in 2009 by Xinhua New Agency and other well-known global news organizations, the WMS, with the theme of "Cooperation, Action, Win-Win and Development," has been growing over the years and become a multilateral coordination mechanism for global media organizations.

Media organizations of the BRICS countries may establish regular communication mechanisms within the WMS framework to discuss problems they have encountered in their cooperation and to find solutions, Li suggested.

They should also help promote cooperation between their countries through teamwork and at the same time influence public opinion of other developing countries, he added.

Fourth, media organizations of the BRICS countries should jointly confront the challenges presented by new media and new technologies through cooperation projects.

Media organizations of the BRICS countries should carry out large-scale trans-regional and cross-industry multi-media reporting with integrative methods, focusing on cooperation projects that are fit for the application of the latest information technology, Li said.

The aim, he said, is to upgrade the mode of production and dissemination through practice so as to improve the soft power of the media organizations of the BRICS countries.

The faster and better BRICS goes, the louder the voices of skepticism and disapproval might be, but as an old Chinese saying goes, genuine gold fears no fire, Li said.

"I sincerely hope that media organizations of the BRICS countries can do more in international communication, constantly strengthen their ability to have their voices heard internationally, and help improve the BRICS mechanism, so as to win the understanding and support of the world for BRICS cooperation and development," he added.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 15Jul14]

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