Media stakeholders raise the alarm over ‘infiltration of Chinese ideology into Nigeria’

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Stakeholders in the Nigerian media industry have raised the alarm over what they termed that “infiltration of Chinese ideological agenda in the Nigerian media space.”

They raised the alarm Friday in Abuja at a training workshop for journalists organised as part of the unveiling of a literacy guidebook designed to train journalists on spotting and countering authoritarian exports in Nigerian media space.

A statement by the project manager of Sahel Standard Media, Farouk Mohammed, described the guidebook as “the first of its kind in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa to study and identify how China deploys sharp practices in the Nigerian media space and how this impacts the democratic life of Nigeria.”

“The guidebook identifies key tactics that Chinese operatives deploy in the media influencing operations; it also includes strategies and means of countering such maligning influences. The guidebook also included a long list of negative impacts of such Chinese practices on the Nigerian democracy.

“The guidebook is a goldmine of previously unpublished and unarticulated reality of China’s media influence. We expect this guidebook to empower journalists and media operatives to protect free press and democratic norms and practices,” the statement read in part.

 In his presentation, Dr. Anule Emmanuel said to counter the maligning influences in the news rooms, “we must be inquisitive and have investigative spirit, analytical mind, courage, integrity and patriotism.”

He said, “With good combination of our watchdog role as the Fourth Estate of the Realm and taking responsibilities to put the government in constant checks, reveal abuse of state authorities and protect the constitutional rights of citizens, it is possible to detect, track and counter the maligning influences in our news rooms.” 

Also, Mr. Martins Odeh, in his presentation, said, “We must at this stage clear the illusion about the dividends of democracy; the dividends of democracy are not employment, food on the table, light in the homes, and working telephones.

“The truth, however, is that democracy has more to offer than food and good things in life. Democracy is democracy because of freedom of expression and liberty, and the vehicle for measuring the quantum of freedom and liberty in any climate is the media of mass communication which does not exist in a vacuum.”

He said further that the objective of his paper was to “expose participants to the realities of the arguably negative entreaties of China to Nigeria and to strengthen the capacity of the Nigerian journalists to become a smart maven that can easily decipher and counter those measures.” 

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