Beijing Hosts Sierra Leonean Journalists for 2023 Media Seminar: Aiming to Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation and Enhance Media Development

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

A three-week media seminar kicked off on November 5, 2023, organized by China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), with 25 Sierra Leonean journalists in attendance. The seminar, which will conclude on November 27, 2023, aims to honor journalists, foster knowledge exchange, and strengthen bilateral cooperation between China and Sierra Leone.

Yan Ni, Deputy Director-General of the International Cooperation Department at NRTA, highlighted China’s significant growth in radio, television, and online audio-visual media. She emphasized the importance of international cooperation in these fields, noting that China’s robust domestic media landscape has experienced global expansion through collaborations, acquisitions, and content distribution.

Ni also alluded to the Belt and Road Initiative’s role in facilitating media infrastructure investments in partner countries, explaining that China aims to project soft power and counter Western media narratives by promoting Chinese culture and perspectives. However, she did not shy away from mentioning the country’s strict government control over media content.

By the end of 2022, China had welcomed 6,646 officials, media organization managers, senior editors, journalists, and technicians from 152 developing regions and countries into various training programs.

Khalil Kallon, Executive Secretary at the Independent Media Commission (IMC) of Sierra Leone and the team leader for the 2023 seminar, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity. He commended China’s MOFCOM for hosting the event and extended his appreciation to Ambassador Wang Qing of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone.

Kallon pointed out the essential role of media in Sierra Leone’s democratic principles, national development, and improving the quality of life of Sierra Leoneans. He also noted the media’s critical role in shaping the country’s political, economic, and social development since the end of the civil war.

Kallon emphasized that Sierra Leone’s media institutions have significantly contributed to the development of China-Sierra Leone friendship and cooperation. He expressed his belief that the knowledge gained from the seminar would be beneficial for the participants and their colleagues back home.

He concluded by urging the organizers to consider Sierra Leone for future programs, stressing the need for further media development in the country, including professional training and modern broadcast and printing equipment. He expressed his anticipation for a fruitful deliberation during the seminar.



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