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Media seminar calls for further cooperation between Brunei and Chinese media

By He Zhuoyan (People's Daily Online)    09:28, October 22, 2019

Media seminar held for media outlets in Brunei and China (People’s Daily Online/ He Zhuoyan)

Brunei, Oct. 22 (People's Daily Online) A media seminar was held for Bruneian and Chinese media outlets in the Information Department of Brunei Darussalam on October 21, as part of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) media group's schedule.

Eight members of the ACC media group, including People's Daily Online, were joined by six local media outlets from Brunei, including PELITA Brunei, a Malay-language newspaper published by the government's Information Department, the daily English-language newspaper Borneo Bulletin and the individual media outlet The Scoop.

Hosted by Sastra Sarini Hj Julaini, the Active Deputy Director of the Information Department of Brunei Darussalam, the seminar focused on several major issues in the media concerning the integrity of news reporting, the implementation of advanced technology and the future of media transformation.

The seminar kicked off with Sastra's high praise of the efforts made by both sides to make the seminar possible, noting, "A couple of exchanges between two countries in terms of media exchanges have been implemented, and our relation with China in terms of exchange of knowledge is close."

Her words were echoed by Mahdi Yassin, the Public Relations Officer of Radio Television Brunei (RTB), who said that previous cooperation with Chinese media and RTB had been an enormous success, and he looked forward to more opportunities to connect with Chinese counterparts.

When it comes to the integrity of news reporting, specifically the handling of fake news, Sastra said that the speed of the spread of fake news was unexpected, especially in a country with a population of only 400,000. "It not only requires close work with government agencies," Sastra explained, "but also requires an effort between different media outlets in Brunei."

Wang Zhiquan, Deputy-Director of Information and Public Relations Division of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC), added that he thinks that advancing technology and the merging of media will be adequate to deal with fake news.

"This may also be one of the reasons that this year is designated for the ASEAN-China year of media exchanges. We hope to call media from two sides to play a greater role in ASEAN-China relations," he said.

The transformation of media was another major topic discussed during the seminar. PELITA Brunei, according to Sastra, has already cut down its circulation from 22,000 in 2014 to 5,000 in 2018 to accommodate Brunei's population of 400,000 to save costs and, more importantly, strike a balance between traditional news coverage and the implementation of technology such as the E-paper and social media.

Rashidah HajiAbu Bakar, co-founder of The Scoop, an individual media outlet touching on entrepreneurship, unemployment, tourism and creative industry, said that the social media penetration rate in Brunei is 94 percent, the highest among ASEAN countries. Among the readers, 60 percent come directly from social media and 80 percent from smartphones.

Waqiuddin bin Rajak, a reporter with Brunei Darussalam Media, added a more demographical view on Rashidah's explanation. He said that readers from China are among the top four, and most of the time show their interest in oil and gas news and entertainment news such as Wu Chun.

The seminar was wrapped up by Wang Zhiquan, who called for closer ties between the two countries in terms of media exchange. "We'd like to lay the foundation of future cooperation," Wang said, adding, "We feel the spirit of Brunei. I believe after this reporting trip, we'll have a better and deeper understanding of Brunei and tell a good story of peace and development of ASEAN countries and China." 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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