South Africa

BRICS media leaders discuss post-Covid-19 cooperation

Beijing – The fifth presidium meeting of the BRICS Media Forum was held via video link Monday, with members pledging joint efforts to improve the forum mechanism and step up post-Covid-19 exchanges and cooperation among BRICS media.

In the fight against Covid-19, media organizations from BRICS countries have actively fulfilled their social responsibilities, chronicling BRICS' joint fight against the pandemic and facilitating the mutual assistance and support between peoples of BRICS countries, said He Ping, executive chairman of the BRICS Media Forum.

Amid momentous changes never seen in the last hundred years, BRICS media outlets should grasp the trend of history and act as "facilitators" for peaceful development, said He, also president and editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency.

He urged BRICS media outlets to be aware of the general trend of global development and be "narrators" of the BRICS story, follow the evolution trends of media and be "leaders" in innovative development, and give full play to the advantages of BRICS collaboration and be "pursuers" of pragmatic cooperation.

Xinhua is willing to strengthen cooperation with media from other countries to provide spiritual impetus for defeating the pandemic, reviving the economy and building a community with a shared future, He added.

Jose Juan Sanchez, president of Brazil's CMA Group; Sergey Kochetkov, first deputy editor-in-chief of Russia's Rossiya Segodnya; Narasimhan Ram, director of The Hindu Publishing Group of India; and Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairman of Independent Media of South Africa, attended the event as co-chairpersons of the forum. In their speeches, they expressed the hope to further deepen the cooperation among BRICS media, to facilitate the development of the relations among BRICS countries and to help build a better world.

The year 2020 will be remembered by history books for the Covid-19 pandemic, Jose Juan Sanchez said in his speech, adding that BRICS media should strengthen information exchanges and experience sharing to contribute to building a better world after the pandemic.

Sergey Kochetkov said that even though the pandemic has impeded international exchanges, it also provided media with new growth opportunities and new paths for cooperation.

Narasimhan Ram said uncertainties will be a new kind of normal faced by media under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, calling on BRICS media to give full play to their advantages in fact-checking and take active use of new technologies like artificial intelligence in the fight against disinformation.

Dr Iqbal Survé said the exchanges and cooperation among media in BRICS countries have never been this important due to the pandemic, calling for joint efforts from BRICS media in the post-Covid future to overcome difficulties including poverty and inequality and promote fair distribution of vaccines after development.

The BRICS Media Forum was proposed by Xinhua News Agency and jointly initiated with mainstream media outlets from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, with the forum presidium as its top decision-making body.

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