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Education, cooperation high on agenda at China-Germany media forum

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-17 16:45

China and Germany should look to deepen media cooperation and further promote exchanges, officials from both countries said at the Sixth China-Germany Media Dialogue on Tuesday.

Guo Weimin, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, said Chinese media were increasingly utilizing new technologies such as mobile applications and virtual reality, which required an advanced education.

"As social and internet media become more prevalent, media education should keep up with it," Guo said, also noting that this year marks the 45th anniversary of China and Germany establishing diplomatic relations.

"The two countries should use this momentum to deepen cooperation in media education, technology, and news quality management, thus allowing media from both countries to promote mutual understanding and report truthfully to their audiences."

Stephan Steinlein, the State Secretary of Germany's Federal Foreign Office, echoed Guo's remarks, saying cooperation in media education could strengthen mutual trust and deepen the two countries' strategic partnership.

Shi Anbin, associate dean of Tsinghua University's School of Journalism and Communication, said this was the first time that media education had featured so prominently at the dialogue, adding that China has the largest media education system in the world, with more than 680 universities offering media-related majors to about 230,000 students per year.

"In the future, journalists will have to be multiplatform, multicultural, and professionally educated," said Shi.

"This requires international cooperation from government agencies, universities and media outlets."

The rise of social media and mobile apps have brought new opportunities for traditional media outlets to engage with their audience more effectively, according to Cui Shixin, the director of the research department at the People's Daily.

China now has about 656 million mobile internet users, accounting for about 92.5 percent of all its netizens, he said, "but many older journalists still lack the necessary know-how to fully utilize new media to create interactive and deep stories".

As a result, Cui called for more classes and media exchanges for journalists to sharpen their new media skills and learn to cooperate with others across platforms, departments and cultures.

Germany faces similar challenges in diversifying the skill sets of traditional media journalists, said Kathrin Konyen, vice-president of the German Association of Journalists.

"A journalist is no longer just a journalist," she said, adding that the two countries could nurture innovative media talent through more exchanges and hands-on experience with cutting edge technologies.

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