Time for Africa and BRICS countries to tell their own stories

Published Aug 19, 2023


ELIZAVETA Brodskaya, first deputy editor in chief of the Russian news channel RT, has called for the BRICS countries and their media to continue telling their own stories and not rely on the Western media, including the BBC and CNN, to tell their stories.

The avalanche of attacks on the BRICS agenda was the most talked-about topic on the first day of the BRICS Media Forum, with speaker after speaker noting that it had become far more important for BRICS countries to take charge of their own agenda due to growing anti-BRICS sentiment across the globe.

Brodskaya was speaking during the first day of the two-day BRICS Media Forum at the Houghton Hotel on Saturday.

Now in its sixth year, the forum has been seen as an important part of the BRICS Summit set to kick off at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday.

More than 200 delegates from China, India, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and other countries gathered at the Houghton Hotel for the first part of the media forum aimed at strengthening the voice of the media within the BRICS and BRICS-aligned countries of the world.

Brodskaya said: “If we want to make this process global, we have a long way to go. There are a lot of efforts to be made. As I look around the world, I see a lot of people with different cultures. We need to understand that when they are speaking about the dominance of the mainstream media, it is not only that issues are not covered.

“They think that they can judge and consider at best who is ignorant and at worst who is barbaric. There are so many people here who have their own expertise, their own value, and their own culture, which is not based on centuries of cultural development. It is important to respect other people's cultures, and the Western media has no right to judge your moral values. It is very important to have people on the ground who understand what is relevant to them. People in South Africa and Uganda have different values when it comes to same-sex marriages. It is very important to respect both views.”

Zimbabwe's Minister of Publicity and Broadcasting, Monica Mutsavangwa, said the media, particularly in the global South and Brics countries, had a role to play in creating an interwoven world filled with diverse cultures.

Mutsavangwa said: “Our media in Africa and elsewhere has a role to play in fostering a culture of uniting. In order to achieve our aspirations, we must get to know each other. In this regard, the media has to do this job. It has to be recalled that the Third World has been seen through negative stereotypes and framing. The telling of our stories is a relevant driver to end this agenda.”

Mutsavangwa said that in spite of the many negative reports against Zimbabwe, which is headed to elections in a few days, she had been hard at work creating favourable conditions for BRICS countries to invest in the country.

"We were the first country in the early 200s to allow the Chinese communications company Huawei to get its first licence in Zimbabwe. Today we marvel at how Huawei has leapfrogged the telecommunications industry, thanks to China and India for leveraging the leapfrogging in  the region. This has enhanced the global communication output and the economy in the South," she said.

The Star

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