Media leaders highlight challenges – at First China-Latin America Media Summit

Media leaders highlight challenges – at First China-Latin America Media Summit

GINA, Guyana, Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Presenters from the Caribbean at the First China-Latin America Media Summit on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile highlighted challenges presented with the plethora of social media platforms.

The Guyana delegation at the Summit. From left to right: Director of the Government Information Agency, Beverley Alert; Editor- in- Chief of Guyana Chronicle, Nigel Williams, and Editor at the National Communications Network (NCN), Onika Jones

The Guyana delegation at the Summit. From left to right: Director of the Government Information Agency, Beverley Alert; Editor- in- Chief of Guyana Chronicle, Nigel Williams, and Editor at the National Communications Network (NCN), Onika Jones

The Summit opened on Tuesday at the International Convention Centre of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in San Diego. It concludes today.

At today’s session, Editor-in-Chief of Hours of Suriname, Alirio Polsnroek noted the economic impact newspapers face as a result of the development of social media.  Polsnroek said reporters and journalists have adopted ethical standpoints and standards as they confront these challenges.

Editor-in-Chief of the Jamaica Observer, Vernon Davidson likened the development of communications technology to international track superstar Usain Bolt of Jamaica, noting that years ago people would not have imagined that records in both platforms would have been broken. Davidson pointed out that social media technologies have impacted traditional media, and suggested that these platforms ought to be embraced by traditional media.

Davidson also called on Latin America and China not to treat the Caribbean as a spectator, but rather as a partner as the Caribbean has a lot to offer.

Many presenters noted the role the media plays in bringing people together by bridging the physical divide, through the use of technologies that drive new media platforms. The summit heard how Latin American media outlets have benefited from their Chinese counterparts.

Among the issues raised were the need for communications and media reports to support and present developments taking place in both hemispheric blocks, the need to deepen collaboration, and the benefits of media outlets establishing their presence across both regions.

Presenters also spoke of challenges facing the media in both hemispheres including the challenge traditional media face in light of the development of social media platforms.

Guyana was represented by the Director of the Government Information Agency Beverley Alert, Editor- in- Chief of Guyana Chronicle, Nigel Williams and Editor at the National Communications Network (NCN), Onika Jones. They were among 80 representatives from 24 outlets that participated in the summit.

Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena noted the importance of China as a trade partner. Barcena pointed out that in 2014; China replaced the European Union (EU) as the second largest trade partner in the region. Barcena added that trade between Latin America and the Caribbean, and China multiplied 22 times since 2000 before declining during 2013-2015 due to the slowdown in China’s economic growth.

Meanwhile, China’s President Xi Jinping, who was on an official visit to Chile, also addressed the participants at the Summit’s opening. The Chinese Leader committed to forging stronger media collaboration between his country and Latin America and the Caribbean. President Xi announced that China will host and train 500 media workers from ECLAC countries over the next five years.

According to the Chinese Head of State, the Summit is important for a number of reasons including understanding the challenges developing nations’ media face.

The president noted the Summit can contribute to closer collaboration in a number of areas including forging mutual learning and support to strengthen the influence and use of technology to show the world the reality of situations in China and Latin America and Caribbean countries.

 

By Beverley Alert

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