Adri Senekal De Wet.

CAPE TOWN - The 2018 BRICS Media Forum, a high-level dialogue among BRICS media organisations, was held in Cape Town last week.

The forum was attended by leaders of 38 mainstream media organisations from BRICS countries as well as some African countries, including Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana, inclusive of news agencies, newspapers, radio, television broadcasters and digital media.

Dr Iqbal Survé, chairperson of the SA chapter of the BRICS Business Council and executive chairperson of Independent Media, presented the BRICS Media Forum Action Plan.

“Under the theme ‘BRICS Media Co-operation - Fostering an Inclusive, Just World Order’, we reached consensus after in-depth exchanges were held on:

* Strengthening the BRICS narrative and the responsible role of the media.

* Imagining a shared global future forged by constructive and development journalism and seeking ways to enhance co-operation.

* BRICS Media and Africa.

“We, as participating media organisations, believe that the world is undergoing major development, transformation and adjustment and we face growing uncertainties and destabilising factors,” Survé said.

Key objectives

The key objectives of the Action Plan presented by Survé entails the following:

* Encourage exchanges between our nations’ public and private media organisations.

* Establish a BRICS media academy for journalists.

* Create a BRICS portal or agency.

* Create an environment where there can be people-to-people exchange between journalists.

* Spread positive and balanced stories.

“The BRICS media participants unanimously agreed to carry out a co-operative action plan in the spirit of equity, pragmatism and mutual benefit. We should improve mutual learning and draw on each other’s experiences. BRICS media organisations should adapt to the trend and meet new challenges, use opportunities such as this important forum to engage in high-level talks, mutual visits to share experiences, learn from each other and jointly explore the path of media innovation and development in the internet era,” he said.

Participants unanimously agreed to adopt the Cape Town Declaration 2018 by agreeing to exchange news content, creating a media landscape that upholds the value of integrity of news, uphold the principles of responsible journalism and put measures in place to limit the spread of fake news and ensuring that BRICS countries are not discriminated against in terms of access to news.

“We, as the BRICS member media organisations, stand united and in one voice to declare that we should be included in the opportunity to report in a free and unbiased manner on issues pertaining to our own and member countries,”, urvé stated.

Prominent media organisations and global media representatives who participated in the Media Forum included:

* South Africa, led by Independent Media Executive Chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé (that hosted the event).

* China, Mr Cai Mingzhao, President of Xinhua News Agency.

* India, Mr Mukund Padmanabhan, Editor of The Hindu.

* Brazil, Mr Jose Juan Sanchez, President of the CMA Group.

* Russia, Mr Dmitri Gornostaev, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Sputnik.

Adri Senekal De Wet is executive editor of Business Report.

-BUSINESS REPORT