China-Nigeria Media Symposium in Abuja

By Li Xiaohua
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The "Experience China:China-Nigeria Media Symposium," in which major media outlets from China and Nigeria call for closer interaction, took place in Nigerian capital Abuja on Sept. 19. [Photo:Li Xiaohua]

The "Experience China:China-Nigeria Media Symposium," in which major media outlets from China and Nigeria call for closer interaction between the two, took place in Nigerian capital Abuja on September 19. Li Wufeng, vice minister of the State Council Information Office, and Deng Boqing, Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, attended the meeting.

A key issue during the symposium is to explore new ways to further expand the media interaction between China and Nigeria as economic exchanges between the two nations keep a rapidly growing momentum, yet the understanding between their media lags behind.

"There is still no strong link between Nigerian journalists and their Chinese counterparts," said Mr. Martins Oloja, Nigeria's The Guardian editor. "We [in the media] need to understand too that Nigerian leaders, and indeed people, cannot be leaning on the West forever within a context of globalization in which emerging markets like China's are big players." Oloja also called for more involvement of the Chinese media in Nigeria as to enhance Chinese media's leverage in the nation and promote trade relations between the two countries.

Mohammed Bello, director of News Radio Nigeria, said, "A lot of what we pick up from the Western media is prejudice to paint a wrong picture of China that is not media friendly." Wang Wen, director of the Global Times Public Welfare Foundation, argued that as the people of China and Nigeria are influenced by biased reports from the Western media, the media outlets in both nations should seek common ground, such as their pursuit of national goals and dreams, in order to change the situation.

Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office Li Wufeng praised the discussion, saying China and Nigeria should report on each other from an objective angle and further improve the quality of their coverage. Li also expressed his hopes that reporters from the two nations can travel to the other one to report and further promote the interaction between the two.

The "Experience China" program is jointly run by the State Council Information Office, the Chinese embassy in Nigeria and Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Education from September 10 to 19. It aims to increase cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between China and Nigeria.

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