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Media organisations in BRICS countries must challenge anti-BRICS sentiment, says Dr Iqbal Surve

Dr Iqbal Survé, co-chair of the 6th BRICS Media Forum delivering his opening address at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg on Saturday. Picture: Itumeleng English / African News Agency (ANA)

Dr Iqbal Survé, co-chair of the 6th BRICS Media Forum delivering his opening address at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg on Saturday. Picture: Itumeleng English / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 19, 2023


Johannesburg - Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of Independent Media on Saturday called on media organisations in BRICS countries to challenge anti-BRICS sentiment, saying this narrative was aimed at countering collective progress.

He was speaking at the 6th BRICS Media Forum under the theme “BRICS and Africa: Strengthening Media Dialogue for a Shared and Unbiased Future”.

He said as the South African Chairman of the BRICS Media Forum, he was honoured to speak at the event as the forum unites not just as representatives of media organisations, “but as champions of a shared purpose that will shape a new and just world order”.

He said truth is our strongest weapon against anti-BRICS sentiment.

In recent times, we find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented wave of information warfare that seeks to exploit our unity and erode our collaborative efforts.

“Misinformation and misconceptions breed scepticism and hinder our efforts to secure financial aid and support. Media houses stand as the frontline defence against misinformation.

“Just as soldiers are entrusted with the protection of a nation, media practitioners bear the responsibility of safeguarding accurate information.”

Survé said amidst waves of sensationalism and false narratives, commitment to truth and ethical journalism serves as a shield against the erosion of reliable information.

“To dispel negativity and foster a more informed perspective, we must disseminate accurate information, showcase the benefits of our collaboration, and engage in open dialogues.

“Media can provide responsible journalism, while education campaigns and analysis inform audiences about BRICS benefits.”

He said BRICS in order to address broader global challenges must prioritise “social cohesion through transparency, education, engagement, and cultural diplomacy. Together, we can counter anti-BRICS sentiment, stand united for truth, education, engagement, and highlight the alliance's relevance and positive impacts”.

“In our pursuit of truth, we must also champion the cause of a free press and independent media.

“In South Africa, the birth of independent media bore witness to a nation's struggle for freedom. It is a testament to our commitment to counter oppressive forces, to seek accountability, and to uphold the voices of the marginalised. The mission of independent media resonates with our quest for justice and equality.”

Earlier Chen Xiaodong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa said the role of the media was to safeguard fairness, oppose bullying, safeguard unity and oppose separatism.

“We should make a fair and just voice and promote the international community to practice true multilateralism, with the big family of the community of human destiny and transcend the small circle of hedonism and through timely reporting by the media is of great importance to the construction of a fair and rational international order.”

Chen said the media in BRICS countries should work together and provide support for developing countries in the important period of diversification of the world pattern and economic transformation on the international stage.

“We believe and expect that the media in BRICS countries will continue to uphold the spirit of BRICS of openness, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win and adhere to an objective and impartial position and tell a good story of BRICS cooperation,” Chen said.