The two-session round tables of Chinese and African leaders attending the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 5, 2006. [Xinhua]
The two-session round tables of Chinese and African leaders attending the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 5, 2006. [Xinhua]

This emerged from a seminar in Johannesburg, organized by the China-Africa Reporting Project with the aim of sharing knowledge about how to cover the FOCAC Summit.

The two-session round tables of Chinese and African leaders attending the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 5, 2006. [Xinhua]
The two-session round tables of Chinese and African leaders attending the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 5, 2006. [Xinhua]
Eric Olande from the project told Xinhua that there is a need for African media to challenge stereotype peddled in the media about China-Africa cooperation.

Olande said journalists have to write stories based on facts and challenge rumours and stereotype.
He pointed to some misconceptions that China is overpopulated and are sending some of its people to Africa.

“China is not overpopulated and that is why they have removed the one-child policy. Journalist have a duty to ask simple questions and get to the bottom of the story. Talk to people with information to fight bad information and stick to journalistic principles. When you criticize, do so fairly and when you praise, do so fairly too,” Olande said.

Prof. Herman Wasserman from the University of Cape Town said that for the media to be relevant, truthful and ethical, “they have to go beyond the statements by officials and ask relevant questions.”

He also cautioned the media to be careful when using the social media like twitter and facebook as some of the information there might be untrue.

Johan Bailey, former South African Broadcasting Corporation bureau chief in Beijing, said some journalists have no depth knowledge of the China-Africa cooperation.

Barry van Wyk, the project coordinator of China-Africa Reporting Project at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, said the project wants to equip journalists for the FOCAC Summit.

Van Wyk said, “We organised the event to talk about FOCAC, share knowledge to bring about understanding. We wanted to have an open discussion. From the discussion its clear this Summit will be a vital one for the China-Africa relations. The Summit will set the tone for the relations going forward.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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