BRI news network to ‘offer more opportunities for young people to learn, grow’

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/25 19:53:40


Jacqueline Lampe Photo: Xiang Jiaao/GT

As the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) gains global attention and participation, various activities are being held to boost people-to-people exchanges under the initiative to ensure that participants benefit from and contribute to the growth of the initiative, such as the Belt and Road News Network (BRNN).

Global Times (GT) reporters interviewed Jacqueline Lampe (Lampe), CEO of RNW Media in the Netherlands, to discuss how people, especially the young generation, could get more involved in such efforts and what should be noted as the initiative receives support and also faces challenges from the West.

During the first council meeting of the BRNN on Tuesday, Lampe highlighted efforts to focus on increasing media services to benefit young people more directly. "It is clear the media sector must place greater attention on social responsibility. This is why RNW Media is concerned about making sure our young people leading our platforms moderate discussions to create safe spaces, so no one feels excluded," she said.


GT: How can the Belt and Road News Network (BRNN) help communication between media from China and Western countries?

Lampe: The BRNN is a large network with 40 council members from 25 countries and is an important collaboration in the global media industry. I believe it's important to work together as media organizations make sure we talk about the successes and the lessons of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI is an important initiative which brings infrastructure to people in many countries. It's important that we also connect to the people in those countries. When we talk about the BRI and BRNN, we are talking about young people. Young people from the Belt and Road countries need to be trained and they need development chances. It's important that we know their stories. President Xi Jinping talked about people-to-people connectivity, and I think it's all about the media network connecting with the people in the countries along the routes of the initiative.

So I see there's a very important element of collaboration globally between China and other countries.


GT: How can media from the network work together to share information?  

Lampe: The network has come up with websites and all kinds of mobile platforms to share information. And for us, it's important to keep attracting the young people in the Belt and Road countries, and that's also very important for the BRI. It has drawn global attention to what young people need in the countries along the Belt and Road. For us, it's important that we amplify the voices of those young people and make sure that they are connecting to the network. So part of our work will be the RNTC media training program for young people, young media professionals, young journalists, young bloggers in the countries along the Belt and Road. We would like to make sure that they are part of the media, the global media industry, and that their skills are developed and trained.


GT: Will more young Chinese have greater access to the news network via this platform?

Lampe: Yes, I think that's an important element as well. I think that not only young people in China, but those of other countries need to be connected and understand what the various needs are and how they could make sure that their voices are heard globally.


GT: The BRI was met with some doubt, particularly in the West. What's your suggestion to Chinese media to promote the understanding of this initiative?

Lampe: I believe it's always important for the media industry to focus on the neutral part of the initiative, to always look at what it brings and what we've learned in this period of time.

It's very important for Chinese media to understand where the questions in Europe, for instance, come from and to see how to get a neutral perspective from those questions. There are always many questions. And I think the role of media is to look at it from a very neutral perspective and always look at all sides of this initiative. That would be my advice to the Chinese media as well.

You always need time to get to understand what is going on. We see more and more that the initiative has brought infrastructure, which is important for large groups of people around the world. It's important for Chinese media to understand where the questions come from and always look at all sides and then make sure that it gets to the higher level. In the end, I think we are moving toward the same objective that all people are part of a better world, including people in remote areas.

As long as we see the same objective and keep that in front of us, we will get together. I would suggest that the Chinese media look at it from that perspective. The larger goal is to improve the world for people who sometimes do not have the same chances as we do.

What I have seen is that there are always many sides to something. I understand that the Chinese are focusing on construction and infrastructure because I think that's what's needed in China. From our perspective in Europe, we don't have a lot of nature resources. So for us, nature is something we need to preserve. When you look at other perspectives, such as from Africa, they have passed on after a large period in which Europeans were interfering with their social systems. So from the African perspective, they also want to see what the BRI offers long-term benefits and sustainability. I understand where all these questions are coming from, and I think it's very important that the Chinese government and media understand where the questions are coming from and then look at it from an objective and constructive perspective.


GT: Does RNW Media have more plans in China?

Lampe: We are here for young people. What we do is to identify the needs of young people and build large digital communities for them. So it's important to look at where our young people with large needs are and how we can help them.

We're present in Africa, the Middle East, India and Mexico. We are present in China as well, but in China we focus more on business development and how the Netherlands and China can meet each other on the business front.

We have our program here in China. It gives the Chinese the perspective of doing business in the Netherlands. It gives the Dutch perspective of doing business in China and it's a very important collaboration.


Newspaper headline: BRNN to offer opportunities for young people


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