Commentary: Unity a must for BRICS media to boost development

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BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- As the Ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen is approaching, media organizations from the BRICS countries are exploring opportunities for their shared future.

At the BRICS Media Forum on Thursday, media outlets from all five BRICS countries gathered in Beijing to witness the launch of the Action Plan to Strengthen Cooperation Among BRICS Media.

The plan calls for joint efforts to balance international opinions, enhancing the social responsibility of media, and deepen understanding among the people of BRICS countries.

They will seek to expand cooperation, establish digital platforms for BRICS, and deliver financial information services.

The action plan stands for cooperation and comes as the group is seeing booming economic development.

The past decade saw BRICS grow into a platform for multilateral dialogue and cooperation, with over 60 mechanisms of cooperation set up among the countries, in spite of the stagnant global economic environment.

Economic aggregate of the countries accounts for 23 percent of the world, up from 12 percent ten years ago, contributing more than 50 percent of global economic growth.

However, BRICS countries are yet to have a say in the global governance system that is commensurate with their rising economic power.

On the international stage, there is skepticism over the development prospects of BRICS countries and even BRICS itself.

That adds to the need to further media cooperation.

Much has been done since the first agreement reached at the BRICS Media Forum in Beijing in December 2015.

Seeing increasing exchanges between BRICS media organizations since then, a liaison office was established in 2016 to organize and coordinate interactions between the media.

The bigger role of IT and the Internet in media also set the stage for further cooperation of BRICS media.

As Cai Mingzhao, president of Xinhua News Agency, said at the forum, technology has ended the monopoly of information. BRICS media organizations are now toe to toe with their counterparts from more developed nations.

The rapid rise of mobile devices and videos have led the wave. It was estimated by CISCO that by 2021, the number of videos on mobile media worldwide will increase 8.7 times, taking up 78 percent of the global mobile data traffic.

To capitalize on the momentum, a cooperative and sharing platform "On-Scene Cloud" was set up by Xinhua last year, which offers BRICS media organizations with new media services including content, channels and programs for free.

In addition, 1 million U.S. dollars will be spent by Xinhua on establishing the BRICS Media Fund, which will support pragmatic cooperation including exchange visits, training and interviews.

After all, the BRICS sapling needs water and fertilizer. BRICS media outlets should be the gardeners, tasked with supplying the nutrients of friendship and mutual trust.

As BRICS enters its second decade, its media outlets are looking united and set to continue to serve as the solid bond between BRICS countries, while boosting the joint development of the association. Enditem

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