Interview: BRICS news media should cooperate to combat fake news, says expert

Source: Xinhua| 2020-12-01 21:30:40|Editor: huaxia

NEW DELHI, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- BRICS media should pool resources together to fight the global transmission of "fake news" on technology platforms, which has constituted a major threat not just to the mainstream media, but, more importantly, to the lives and well-being of tens of millions of people, said an expert.

"I believe the BRICS Media Forum can make a real difference in the fight against motivated and harmful disinformation by promoting and strengthening relevant media exchanges, workshops, training of journalists, and interactions with technology companies that are willing to work with us to contain and end the menace," said Narasimhan Ram, director of The Hindu Publishing Group and presidium member of the BRICS Media Forum.

The fifth presidium meeting of the BRICS Media Forum was held via video link Monday, with members pledging joint efforts to improve the forum mechanism and step up post-COVID-19 exchanges and cooperation among BRICS media.

Ram said the BRICS Media Forum is playing an important role in promoting exchanges and cooperation among the BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"The BRICS Media Forum has been conceived and developed so that it can function as an independent initiative and set of practical activities undertaken by respected and influential professional media organizations with a vision of a shared future," Ram said in a recent interview with Xinhua on the occasion of the virtual presidium meeting of the forum Monday.

The forum, led by the presidium, has worked out and refined its own agenda, he said, adding that it has developed its plans ambitiously, but in a manner that is tempered by realism. "It has its own governance framework and way of functioning," he said.

"The progress achieved by the BRICS Media Forum as an independent and recognized mechanism within the BRICS community has been encouraging and substantial, considering that this initiative is only five years old," he said.

The progress includes an improved common understanding of the situation, role, and prospects of the different forms of the news media in each of the five BRICS countries, he said.

"The challenge is to translate a sound and progressive common understanding into practical, outcome-oriented activities that can make a lasting difference in the media fields and, equally importantly, contribute to strengthening cooperation in the realm of both ideas and practical activities within the BRICS community," he said.

"We need to acknowledge that we have a long way to go before we can claim that we have realized the potential signalled by the advantages, strengths, and resources that the five BRICS countries can command when they can cooperate and pull together," he said.

Ram expressed his hope that the BRICS media would strengthen cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era as the news media around the world, especially daily newspapers, have taken a big hit during the pandemic.

Advertisement revenue for established media forms was in irreversible decline in most countries, with circulation and readership also in decline, he said, adding that the process of digital migration of readers and viewers has accelerated further under the impact of the pandemic.

"I believe we will start with an important advantage in a post-pandemic era," he said. "Generally speaking, the state of the news media, including the media mix, and the state of journalism within the BRICS community is robust, offering plenty of opportunities for promoting and strengthening media exchanges, cooperation, and learning from each other. But tough challenges lie ahead."

Media organizations under the aegis of the BRICS Media Forum have done a commendable job in informing and educating readers, viewers, and listeners on the pandemic and its consequences for people's lives, health and livelihood, and on the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for COVID-19, Ram said. Enditem