BY UZMA ZAFAR
While the Chinese Nation is celebrating 71st Anniversary of the Foundation of The People’s Republic of China, the media community from both countries is hectically engaged in composite media collaborations to promote and energize the ties through joint media ventures and a recent example in this regard is a joint media collaboration between China’s top Newspaper People’s Daily and The Daily Mail, Pakistan has just recently signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding for comprehensive media collaboration on the sidelines of Media Cooperation Forum on One Belt & One Road with People’s Daily while an historic accord between The Daily Mail and China’s CGTN has also been signed for the similar purpose.
Some 69 years back, when Pakistan and China were signing the papers to establish formal diplomatic relations, the media, not only in these countries, but also all over the world was, by no means, as fast and as strong tool of information as it is today. With the pas-sage of time, media continued to flourish and attain more and more mature status in both the countries.
There is no doubt that Pakistani and Chinese media, both had been playing some role in bringing the people of the two nations closer, yet there was always an acute need of a better and stronger interaction amongst the media personnel from both the countries. Though Chinese publications like China Pictorial (Cheen Baa Tassveer) by China International Publishing Group (CIPG) did come as effective periodicals to bring knowledge about people of China to the people of Pakistan but the need of enhanced media endeavors for enhancing people to people contact continued to increase with rapidly growing importance of media. Today there are hundreds of newspapers and magazines in Pakistan and the number is far higher in China. Similarly there has been a mushroom growth of electronic media organizations in both the countries, owing to the wonderful media policies adopted by Islamabad and Beijing. Nevertheless, this media development enhanced the onus of the media in both the countries to play more effective and larger role for the promotion of bilateral ties and for the promotion and protection of the Pak-China Friendship.
Media personnel from both the countries have been visiting Pakistan and China as part of official delegations, yet there was no pure professional interaction amongst them at the organizational level. It was only in year 2005 when Mr. Makhdoom Babar, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Mail came up with a new vision for the promotion of media relations between Pakistan and China. To materialize his vision and ideas for serving the cause of Pak-China Friendship through joint media endeavors, Mr. Makhdoom came up with different strategies to form a professional collaboration between Chinese and Pakistani journalists and media organizations. First step in this regard was initiated when The Daily Mail signed a breakthrough accord of professional collaboration with China’s top ranking English Daily, China Daily in 2005. This was just the first step in the direction of forging a composite professional collaboration amongst Pakistani and Chinese media.
Soon after the signing of the agreement with China Daily, The Daily Mail introduced a new segment in it’s daily publications by dedicating one full page to news about China everyday and the same is still in practice with a goal of increasing it to two and ultimately to four pages every day. Getting encouraged by the experiment of collaboration with China Daily, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Mail took another initiative and formed Pakistan-China Media Friend-ship Association the same year.
Pak-China Media Friend-ship Association is a body, formed with the aim to provide journalists of both countries with frequent opportunities to have professional interactions and both formal and informal meetings and other activities. Soon after its inception, the Association gained an immense response from the journalists of both the countries with a rapidly increasing number of members. Today, the number of registered members of Pak-China Media friendship Association from both the countries is over 250.
As Chairman of Pak-China Media Friendship Association, President of The Daily Mail held its first function at Beijing in February 2006 with Ambassador of Pakistan to China; His Excellency Mr. Salman Bashir as the Chief Guest. This was the first ever function of its kind as before this, no media organization could organize such an event in either country. During the ceremony, certificates of excellence were distributed amongst the Chinese journalists and members of the association in recognition of their respective professional achievements and for their services to the cause of promotion of Pak-China Friendship as well for maintaining of high standards of professionalism.
The President of The Daily Mail also held detailed discussions with the officials of China Radio International (CRI) and reached a verbal MoU of signing agreement of professional collaboration between the two organizations. The Daily Mail and CRI (Urdu) also agreed on holding of joint quiz programmes and other competitions for the promotion of Pak-China Friendship.
The Daily Mail’s President and Chairman of Pak-China Media Friendship Association Mr. Makhdoom Babar also held detailed parleys with officials of All-China Journalists’ Association, a body, having over 7,50,000 Chinese journalists as it’s registered members.
Officials of All-China Journalists’ Association welcomed the formation of Pak-China Media Friendship Association. The then Director General of All-China Journalists’ Association Mr. Zhu Yinghua informed Mr. Makhdoom that there had been a lot of media exchanges between China and Pakistan from the plat-form of All-China Journalists’ Association but this exchange programme was in a state of disruption for about past 20 years. He expressed the desire of resuming the programme of exchange of media delegations between Pakistan and China in collaboration with Pak-China Media Friendship Association. Chairman of Pak-China Media Friendship Association straight-away welcomed the idea and both parties agreed on the same. A formal agreement in this regard is likely to be signed soon.
Today is the world of media and it is full of a variety of challenges. However, through the media endeavors that The Daily Mail and Pak-China Media Friendship Association have initiated, it can easily be said that the journalists of both Pakistan and China are quite effectively preparing and gearing up to meet all such challenges.
Through such efforts and initiatives, journalists from both the countries are getting poised to do for the promotion of Pak-China Friendship and to meet the prevailing global challenges that they or their predecessors could not do in the past 69 years.
It can be said that these endeavors are sort of gifts to the people and particularly the journalists of both the countries by The Daily Mail on the event of commemoration of 69 years of Pakistan-China friendship and on the 71st National Day of China.