Chinese, Indian journalists want more on-the-ground reporting

By Ren Zhongxi
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, April 1, 2010
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Chinese and Indian journalists said both countries need more on-the-ground reports from the other country to improve communication between them and reduce misconceptions in society about the other country. They were discussing the media's role in forging better ties between China and India at the India-China Development Forum in Beijing on Tuesday.

Chinese and Indian journalists discuss how to build a platform for the two countries. [Ren Zhongxi/]

Chinese and Indian journalists discuss how to build a platform for the two countries. [Yan Xiaoqing/]


"We really need this kind of person-to-person communication," said Suhasini Haidar, deputy foreign editor and anchor for CNN-IBN, relating an experience of a team of Indian journalists to China in 2007. The group had met locals in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, who loved Bollywood songs. After discovering the songs they knew were from the 1950s and 1960s, the journalists updated their repertoire and told them about the movies.

"My suggestion is to send more delegations to each country," Haidar said. "And we can share these experiences at the next forum."

News anchor for China's CCTV International Tian Wei agreed, saying journalists can get a better idea of what they report by going to the other country.

"Journalists have their own feelings and emotions, but they want a fairer judgment of what they report," she said, emphasizing the importance of reporting on facts.

China and India have had a long history of communication with each other that dates back to ancient times, and diplomatic relations were established 60 years ago. But the number of Chinese and Indians traveling between the countries is relatively low compared to the number who travel to other Asian countries. Zeng Jianhua, director of Asian, African and Latin American Affairs at the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, said the number was about 540,000 last year, while the number between China and Korea was about 6 million.

Zeng attributed the low number to misunderstanding, distrust and economic competition between the two countries. He suggested setting up a media organization that will exchange information, discuss how to deal with emergencies and check facts. He also said the media should report more cultural and economic stories, two vital aspects in cooperation between the two countries.

"We should warm up relations between the two countries," Zeng said. "It will not happen in a short time, and the media will play a rather important role to introduce the truth to each country."

The India-China Development Forum was sponsored by China International Publishing Group and organized by China Internet Information Center and China Development Gateway. It was the first non-governmental forum between China and India. About 100 Chinese and Indian officials, journalists, scholars, businessmen and college students participated in the one-day event, covering topics on bilateral relations, trade and media.

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