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A word for the Press in developing countries

Carol Martindale

A word for the Press in developing countries

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China, Beijing – The voice of the Press in some developing countries needs to be strengthened.This was the urgent call from Deputy Director General of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China, Ma Jisheng.He was speaking to a group of journalists from Caribbean and Latin America countries who were on a recent visit to China at the invitation of the State Council Information Office.Jisheng, with the help of an interpreter, told the media that the Press in some countries was being drowned out by the powerful reports on BBC, CNN and Reuters.He questioned the accuracy of some of the reports which come from the developed world, which he said often questioned democracy in that country, and presented false reports.“Reports from outside are unfair and untrue. China has been a victim of unfair reports,” he stressed.He recognised that the fast development of China has confused the Western media who cannot explain this growth.“In the minds of the Press of the Western world, they don’t feel we are a democratic country and we should be poor and backward. But China is not poor and backward and they don’t understand that. “China offers a different path. You don’t need to be a Western democracy to be successful, and that worries some,” said Jisheng.The Chinese official also challenged journalists to tour China to see  whether or not it was a democracy. “We believe democracies can be built in different ways” he explained.“China offers a different path to democracy and development. No country can tell another what type of democracy it should follow,” he further added.The official said there were two different sides of China – some parts still struggling with poverty, while some other parts were more developed.