Western media distort BRICS’ rising clout

By Godfrey Netswera Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/12 22:03:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The question that seems to linger in Western mainstream media is, "for how long will BRICS hold?" Initial reports by the same media seem to suggest that it was the West, and in particular Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs, who is responsible for the establishment of this organization. What a fallacy!

If indeed the West is responsible for such an important multilateral organization since IMF, which in turn may threaten Western economic interest, then why can't they just kill their creation if it does not serve their purpose?

Although initial sentiments seemed to boost the BRICS establishment, its flourish, however, induced a counter reaction. The media spotlight quickly shifted to antagonism. There are suggestions that BRICS may not be necessary, might be irrelevant and does not serve an important or worthy economic course.

Why is this line of questioning perpetual and why does it remain in our purview?

While a scan of the BRICS bibliography produces mainly negative reporting, this summary gives us that taste: a Forbes report in 2015 titled "The death of BRICS;" a Washington Post article titled "The rise and fall of the BRICS;" Livemint published a 2016 article, "BRICS falling apart," etc.

Very little coverage can be found in the Northern hemisphere that compliments the advances made by BRICS. Only Southern media outlets have some positive narrative. For example: a Rbth report in 2015 titled "Sorry to disappoint you but BRICS are not going bust" and an article in The Times of India in 2016 titled "BRICS bank approves USD 75 mn loan for solar project in China."

An analysis of these media reports makes it quite obvious that a hidden agenda is at play. This obsession with the "looming" failure of BRICS is unprecedented in the analysis of a multilateral institution of its kind. Never before have the likes of the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF and World Bank) received so much negative coverage in anticipated failure. Not even the least "successful" multilateral establishment like the African Union has been so severely criticized. Not even after Brexit had the European Union faced such immense and continued barrage akin to unfounded vilification.

It, therefore, begs the question why? Why should BRICS fail? Who benefits from its demise? This is a systematic manufacture of consent.

The BRICS nations have achieved a major milestone in the establishment of the New Development Bank. Much more is possible and as it is the case with the IMF reform, and other multilateral institutions previously dominated by the North will reform or become irrelevant.

In simple terms, it means that the power dynamics are slowly shifting. This will not happen without much wrestling. Media reports from the global North are therefore a form of protest - conservative narratives by those scared of a possible and emerging new world order.

The author is deputy dean of Business and Management Sciences at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He is former director of the South Africa BRICS Think Tank. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn Follow us on Twitter @GTopinion

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