The director of the Government Information Bureau (GCS), Victor Chan, reiterated on the sidelines of yesterday’s Macao Global Media Industry Development Conference 2018 that the SAR government respects the freedom of the press.
“We think that the media development should follow its own law and media organization, and media groups should develop in accordance to their own ideas,” said Chan. “But, of course, the government or GCS have the responsibility to promote and assist media development,” he added.
The conference was co-organized by China News Service and Macao Daily News.
It was mainly the Chinese press participating, including Chinese press from 29 countries and regions from North America, Europe, Africa and Oceania.
“We think it [today’s media conference] is a platform that can push forward media development,” said Chan.
When expressing his opinion about media development, Chan said that the media should expand its own content and information, “walk[ing] outwards” in order to reach more users and readers.
The Times questioned Chan regarding the number of non-Chinese language media sources that were participating in the conference, but Chan did not have the data at hand.
Furthermore, when talking about the conference, Chan said “media development is facing new challenges. But I think the most important thing is that this is also an opportunity, with the development of the network of the new media. We can explore more frontiers, and we can reach much a greater audience.”
According to Chan, the purpose of the conference is to “engage media around the world, of course, with close connections to Macau.”
“We sit down together to discuss what we can do in the future, as Macau is the platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. This gives us very good advantages for our further development even on the media side,” said Chan.
“How Macau media makes good use of this to promote the ideas and services between China and Portuguese-speaking countries is a very important aspect for the further development,” he added.
“This year, we invited some of our colleagues from Portugal, so I think it’s a very important step, we sit down together and discuss what we can do, how we can make good use of this platform to provide services and information as well. This is vital for further development of Macau’s media,” Chan noted.
“For media, nowadays, it’s not only to provide information, I think it’s a combination of providing information news and service as well, and with different media, there are different connections. For example, there are some media personnel from Portugal, so we can sit down, we can discuss how they can help to provide information to China, or to the customer of China, or to those who need information on the Portuguese-speaking countries. I think they can play a very significant and important role in the future,” said Chan.
Scholar calls for positive coverage of Belt and Road project
University of Lisbon’s professor and President of the board of directors of New Silk Road Friends Association, Fernanda Ilhéu, has called on the media to provide positive reports about China’s Belt and Road Initiative, especially concerning the element which involves China’s investment in Europe.
“At this moment, Europe is preparing new dialogue sessions with China, and we are concentrating on the investment of China in Europe. If they are pressed by public opinion in media in a negative way, of course, the outcome of the policy decision will be not favorable for the BRI initiative. If it is favorable, then we will have, of course, a broader scope of cooperation,” said Fernanda Ilhéu.
She suggested the media provide positive reports, “in other aspects that the Belt and Road Initiative foresees in its regional plan”, besides infrastructure.
“In this field, as a reporter, as media people, you should have a positive narrative about Belt and Road not only for […] infrastructure but also in other dimensions which neighboring the relation between people and [showing] that this initiative is inclusive and it targets development and is a global model, which could be good and a win-win for everybody,” said Ilhéu.