China and ASEAN embraces new media technology and mutual understanding

17:28, March 24, 2010      

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In ASEAN member countries, there is a relatively young population – about half of the 580 million people. The new media – blogging, social networks, video sharing, podcasting etc - may appeal more to them than traditional media, according to Ms. Lee Joo Tiang, Assistant Director, ASEAN Secretariat who attended the fourth high-level and large-scale China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar held in Beijing on March 24.

Hosted by the People's Daily, the seminar focuses on the current development of new Web sites, trends and applications of new media technology.

Ms. Lee Joo Tiang said that the huge young population "is why one of our action lines in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint states: we seek to enhance the use of and the capability to utilize new media technologies such as digital broadcasting to promote ASEAN awareness and identity and facilitating ASEAN media industry collaborations to showcase ASEAN Member States' culture, developments and talents."

She believed with new technology for mobile phones and the internet, the spread of new media is likely to increase, enhancing greater interactivity.

Qian Xiaoqian, Vice Minister at the State Council Information Office of China said in 1994 China began to have access the Internet, and by end of last year, China's Internet users had reached 384 million, with an Internet penetration rate of around 29 percent, exceeding the world average. At the current pace of development, in the next two to three years, the number of Chinese Internet users is expected to be more than 500 million. Among new Internet users in China, 75 percents were in rural areas, which indicates that China is rapidly bridging the digital divide urban and rural areas.

He also warned that as developing countries, China and ASEAN members are facing the serious challenge of those Western developed countries who use their technological advantage in the Internet field, financial strengths and talent advantage, seeking the Internet hegemony of Western culture, ideology, and values.

Xue Hanqin, China's ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) said China and ASEAN countries are all developing countries. The key to the strategic partnership between China and the ASEAN lies in in-depth understanding of each other. News media should play a role in communication and bridging gaps.

She added, recently Lower Mekong countries are suffering from drought. Some people blamed China for upstream water development in the Mekong, in fact, southwest China's Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi are suffering from severe drought, and millions of people are experiencing enormous difficulties in drinking water and production. Through the media reports, this misconception is gradually eliminated.

Noorashidah Aliomar, Information Officer at Information Department of Prime Minister's Office of Brunei, said the conventional media now must adapt to the changes in technology to sustain its existence where it involves the building of its human resources. This means reporters and editors must not only be media savvy but also IT literate.

The industry must cope with the cost of building the IT infrastructure and having to face the ever changing technology. With the accessibility of information through the various new media channels, there is an influx of information. The public have a role to choose and judge the news and information available on the internet. The media have the responsibility to relay responsible journalism towards the public.

Ari Santoso, Head of Data Center, Minister of Communication and Information Technology from Republic of Indonesia, said the trend in the world since 1994 is to develop information and communication technology (ICT) to speed up the processes and facilitate once conventional activities to be conducted electronically. ICT function as enablers in almost every line of production and every aspect of human life, even though use in degrees different. For business groups, ICT will increase production efficiency and help increase business productivity.

Boualaphanh Thanphilom, editor in chief of PASAXON Newspaper, Ministry of Information and Culture from Lao PDR, said, in recent years, the print media in Lao PDR have made all efforts in creating their Web sites as a new channel of sending messages to the audiences. Now, many organizations such as National Diseases Prevention, National Disaster Center and media organization used mobile phone to send SMS to users. In the same time the electronic media are using the digital and network technologies such as network radio, network TV to provide information for the audiences.

Within the working framework of ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee, China-ASEAN Media Cooperation Seminar, organized by People's Daily, has become an important platform for media organizations from both China and ASEAN countries to communicate and cooperate.

Through our efforts made in the previous three seminars in 2002, 2004 and 2007, mutual understanding among media organizations from China and ASEAN countries have been strengthened, news coverage on China and ASEAN countries have been upgraded, and the China-ASEAN strategic partnership have been promoted.

By People's Daily Online
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