CHINA IN EYES
With Odongo Odoyo.
I have a simple and good message that l would like to send to one of my professional colleagues although he still has a long way to reach my being in the tormenting journey of 34 years in this jargon called journalism. Emmanuel, do you remember these words. “Wa ji ao Odong. Wach Na Sudan ren. Hang ge mer pa. Washe gong journalist. Zhang gou cai hai. Zai jian hao.” (May be l have misspelled some words) Remember how you were teasing me up to Juba. Thanks for being closed to understand how media industry operates in China. These words that came during our final language presentations made a big mark in my understanding of the Chinese people.
Like all of us the 19 participants to the just concluded 2019 Seminar on Applied Chinese for Press Officials from Developing Countries held in Beijing, China, you can better understand the role the media industry has played in the economic development of that country. Indeed it is in the lead list with 1,884 Newspapers with average print number of 186.69 million daily, periodicals are 10,130 with 130.88 million, Radio penetration stands at 98.71 percent with more than 1,900 channels, televisions account for 99.07 percent with more than 3000 channels, Cable TVs 304 million people and accessible to 214 households and Internet accounts for 55.8 percent with a reach of 772 million people. Consider this kind of industry with their approach to economic development in their country. This has made the Chinese people capture the attention of the world with three things. Economic development, past and present cultural background which they cannot leave behind or be divorced from the current world of technology. There must be some leeway of understanding that economic development cannot come in isolation without the improved socio-cultural ground. These should be the yardstick to measure and cornerstone to stand on when evaluating any tangible achievements in the socio norms. In these situations, there must be dedication to self-sacrifices and self-denial to reach a certain level in life, for a country, it is for everyone to play his/her part. For me and Emmanuel, we have taken our pens and notebooks, the traditional tools for journalists to bring these realities home. It is the best part we know to bridge the gap by bringing close home the little that we have learned and witnessed in a far foreign land to help shape some priorities and goals towards development achievements. As the seminar closed on Monday in the Chinese capital of Beijing after a visit to other provinces of Xian and Chengdo covering historical sites and other traditional venues which gave us a lot of knowledge within those 28 days of our stay. As l promised the host the Beijing International Chinese College and the sponsors the National Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China that l will share my inner experience through my column in this newspaper which l also presented for the archive and the library to keep for future reading and to rich their knowledge. I will continue sharing the experience which is so valuable in all aspects. For Emmanuel remember that you have the same duty and responsibility to make this work and boost and shape the media industry’s destiny for the betterment of this country’s socio-economic development. In this regards, I ask those outside there what they have done to go home happy that they have done something for their country. At least you and me have used our pens and notebooks to share with them our experiences although in difference aspects and approach as l saw it.