BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The BRICS Media Forum concluded Thursday after leaders of 27 organizations agreed on an action plan to boost media cooperation.
The Action Plan Promoting BRICS Media Cooperation noted that the content, depth and breadth of BRICS media cooperation should be expanded and deepened in accordance to the needs of BRICS nations.
UNITY A MUST
The forum, with the theme "Deepening BRICS Media Cooperation, Promoting Fair and Just International Public Opinion," was proposed by Xinhua News Agency and jointly initiated with Brazil's CMA Group, Russia's Sputnik News Agency and Radio, the Hindu Group of India and South Africa's Independent Media.
Liu Qibao, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the committee's publicity department, urged BRICS media to promote win-win cooperation and push the international order in a fairer and more reasonable direction while addressing the forum.
"Sharing a common destiny, BRICS countries form not only an interconnected community of interests, but also a community of joint actions," said Liu.
"There are misinterpreting and misreading voices in international public opinion that are skeptical of the development prospects of BRICS countries and even BRICS itself," said Liu, urging BRICS media to maintain composure and consolidate confidence, and pass on the message of confidence in BRICS countries' development.
Delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Cai Mingzhao, president of Xinhua News Agency and executive chair of the forum, urged efforts to enhance solidarity and practical cooperation among BRICS media.
Cai said Xinhua will provide 1 million U.S. dollars to establish the BRICS Media Fund for the implementation of the action plan and carrying out pragmatic cooperation, including exchanges of visits, professional training and joint interviews.
The participating media organizations all agreed to select news stories for the BRICS news reporting award, and continue to hold joint photo exhibitions, according to Cai.
ACTION PLAN HIGHLIGHTS COOPERATION
The action plan shows BRICS media's determination to accept social responsibility and create a fair public opinion environment, said He Ping, editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency, while addressing the closing ceremony of the forum.
Participating organizations agreed to maintain balanced international public opinion and to strengthen the media's social responsibility.
"BRICS media organizations should create a platform to share verified and reliable information, and we should work together to expose fake news," said Alexey Nikolov, managing editor of Russia Today TV, at Thursday's session.
The participating media agreed to boost people-to-people ties and to expand cooperation fields. There is a need to jointly develop digital media and provide financial information services among BRICS countries.
Mahesh Daga, director and CEO of Indo-Asian News Service, called for more communication among journalists to promote inclusiveness.
The media organizations unanimously agreed to carry out the action plan in the spirit of equity, pragmatism and mutual benefit.
Zenariah Barends, co-chair of the forum and chief of staff of Independent Media from South Africa, called for more effort to find solutions to the narrative which focuses on the negative side of BRICS.
BRICS media have a role in telling amazing stories, not only what BRICS is doing, but also life-changing stories happening in these countries, said Barends.
NEW MEDIA, NEW OPPORTUNITIES
BRICS media also agreed to explore new channels and new spaces in international communication. "We should develop integrated digital media, video new media, social media and jointly seek new ways of increasing international voices via digital means," according to the plan.
"For BRICS media... the popularization of information has broken the traditional information monopoly and put us at the same starting line as media from the United States and European countries," Cai said in his keynote speech.
Xinhua's app has been downloaded 220 million times, and the number of followers of Xinhua's Weibo account is close to 60 million.
Last month, followers of Xinhua's accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube reached 30 million, among the top mainstream international media outlets.
Last year, Xinhua established a cooperative, sharing platform "On-Scene Cloud," which offers members media content, channels, technology and other services. "We are willing to open that platform to BRICS media free of charge," Cai said.