China and African countries have vowed to further enhance their exchanges and cooperation in the radio and television sectors to deepen mutual understanding.
A Declaration in this regard was signed during the Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation in Beijing.
China and Africa have intensified cooperation in press and media in recent years, in an attempt to break the perceived monopoly of the Western media in the global news market.
Deputy Editor-in-chief of China Radio International Ma Weigong says the two sides have established direct channels to acquire information about each other after years of media cooperation.
"There are no major changes in global media structure as Chinese media just started to increase our voice. It is a gradual process that takes time. We need to pay attention to the effect of the programs we broadcast, which should make Africans closer to the reality in China. "
According to Happison Muchechetere, the CEO of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Chinese media presence in Africa makes the voice more balanced on the continent.
"We showed what the colonizers wanted us to see, think, sleep, eat and behave like them. The Chinese don't do that. They come with a win-win situation. Before, we only heard about the BBC and what they think about Africa, their own interest. But now there is the other voice, there is another side of the story."
Muchechetere also says African people are fascinated by China's development.
"It is very admirable for the African people, your culture, your development, especially the development aspect, because China is the only country that is developing on its own without the assistance of other cultures."
Last year, more than 100 million people across Africa had the opportunity to learn about contemporary China through the popular Chinese soap opera A Beautiful Daughter-in-Law Era, which was dubbed in Swahili.
The TV series has received great reviews on the continent, and will likely inspire more Chinese TV dramas to go global.
Adam Imoro of the African Union of Broadcasting says his organization is working to establish a sharing platform to exchange programs with China.
"Because if African programs are open to the Chinese audience, you can imagine that huge viewership, because China is a very populous country. If content can be shared so that Chinese will also become familiar with African experience. So the cooperation will be two-way, not one way."
China-Africa booming media relations have also attracted corporate involvement from both sides, including investment in telecommunications and media infrastructure.
The trend will continue, and more journalistic exchange and cooperation projects will be undertaken to enhance professional skills and promote mutual understanding between the Chinese and African peoples.
(Source : China Radio International via kimandrewelliott.com)