|Li Wufeng (middle), Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office of China, meets a local journalist at the Experience China--China-Nigeria Media Symposium in Abujia, capital of Nigeria, on September 19 (DING ZHITAO)|
Chinese and Nigerian media should pay more attention to their respective growing roles and strive to present an authentic image of China to African audiences and vice versa. Agreement on this important step in ongoing cooperation between the two sides was reached by media representatives attending a media forum on September 19 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The agreement comes in the wake of increasing attention being paid by the international community on Africa's deepening relationship with China. "This presents an important opportunity for media in China, Nigeria and other African countries. We should seize the moment to expand cooperation between Chinese and Nigeria media, increase our say, and contribute to cooperation between China, Nigeria and Africa as a whole," said Li Wufeng, Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office at the China-Nigeria Media Symposium.
The media symposium was jointly held by the State Council Information Office, the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, and the Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria. It formed part of the "Experience China" program, which aims to increase cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between China and other parts of the world.
In the past, due to poor communication facilities, China and African countries could only learn about each other through third parties, in particular Western media, which may have given rise to and perpetuated misunderstandings.
"China is still not a constant feature or subject on the front page and prime time in the news media in Nigeria unless there are disasters and alleged human rights abuses to be reported," said Martins Oloja, Editor of The Guardian.
Major Western media continue to perpetrate and promote a Cold War mentality and view Sino-African ties through the lens of geopolitics, framing everything as competition between East and West, Chinese and Nigerian media professionals said at the forum.