Members of the Belt and Road News Network, or BRNN, have recently highlighted the news alliance's significant role in enhancing global cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in promoting people-to-people exchanges.
The BRNN was jointly established by Beijing-based People's Daily and media organizations from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, with an aim to promote people-to-people exchanges among these countries. The news alliance held its first board meeting in April 2019 and has so far attracted 205 media outlets from 98 countries, according to People's Daily.
Pedro Camacho, chief innovation officer of the Lusa News Agency in Portugal, said the BRNN has played an active role in promoting exchanges and deepening cooperation among alliance members, especially during the coronavirus outbreak.
Media outlets have a responsibility to convey accurate and reliable information and counter rumors and prejudices, a mission that has become even more important as a result of the pandemic. It is particularly important that the media in all countries should expand information communication channels and deepen cooperation, Camacho said.
Camacho said the Chinese government has taken decisive measures to effectively curb the spread of the epidemic, and its experiences are worth learning by other countries. China has also made great efforts to help other countries to counter the pandemic and firmly supports the World Health Organization's role in continuing to play a leading and coordinating role in the world's battle against the virus.
The BRNN issued an open letter in March calling on its members to continue to convey factual and reliable information on the pandemic, fight against rumors and misinformation and strengthen global coordination and cooperation amid the outbreak.
Pavel Negoitsa, general-director of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper in Russia, said that the news outlet has worked with several Chinese media organizations in reporting on the coronavirus.
"The epidemic makes us more aware that we are all in a community of common destiny," he said, adding that media organizations should avoid politicizing, stigmatizing and labeling the virus in their coverage.
Associating the virus and the disease it causes with certain places is an act of disrespect for science and is irresponsible, which could lead to serious consequences such as xenophobia and racial discrimination, he said.
Hyun-Duck Soh, senior managing director of the Maekyung Media Group in South Korea, said that the pandemic has brought an unprecedented impact to the world, and countries should strengthen solidarity and cooperation.
He said that the BRNN has provided a platform for global media outlets to strengthen communication and cooperation. He hoped that global governments, societies and media organizations will recognize the importance of communication and that BRNN alliance members can work even more closely together in joint media coverage.