I spent three weeks in China and it flew by far too quickly.
Now I’m here reflecting on how this experience has helped me in so many different ways building a firm foundation as a journalist.
I was given the opportunity to attend a Seminar held in China for New Media Journalists of Developing Countries. I was among the four delegates who represented Samoa to the Seminar.
Other delegates were Luaipou Matatia Auvele, a Radio Announcer from 2AP, Muliagatele Esau Fa’atafa, a Cameraman and Editor for WT Media and Seia Ualesi, a reporter from TV3.
The seminar was sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, and organized by Research and Training Institute of State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and TV.
Thirty three delegates from 16 developing countries participated in the seminar with Samoa being the only Pacific Island Country to participate.
During the 21 days we spent in China, the organisers carefully designed the curriculum and fully devoted their time and effort in taking care of us.
The seminar focused on the development of New-Media and Technology in China. Through presentations, lectures and all the tours we’ve had from some of the biggest Media Organizations in China, I can honestly say that China is now at the forefront in terms of New-Media Development.
As a developing country, China is taking the lead technically in terms of using modern technologies and fast internet to collect and distribute information locally, regionally and internationally.
The seminar highlighted the challenges and opportunities New Media and technologies can offer. In terms of Samoa, our country is still at the first phase in terms of New Media compare to China. Personally, I think the main challenge our country is facing in terms of new media is having access to fast and reliable internet connection. However, our country awaits the two projects which will pave a way for our country to have a better and brighter future in terms of ICT; they are the Tui-Samoa Cable and Moana Cable.
New Media also offers great opportunities for Media organisations and members of the public to get updates of what happens around them and the world. Also with the rise of new media, we are now looking at the problem of losing the organs of our traditional media such as television and radio broadcasting as well as printing.
However, in China, the biggest media organisations are doing their best to maintain traditional media and at the same time, work on promoting new media in the country.
We visited China’s Network Television (CNTV), a national web-based TV broadcaster which was officially launched on 28 December 2009. CNTV International offers 6 local language services (Chinese, Mongolian in Mongol Script, Tibetan, Kazakh, Uyghur and Korean) and 6 foreign language services (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Korean and Arabic). They also provide viewers with a host of news and feature programs from China National Television’s foreign channels.
We also visited China’s Radio International (CRI), which was formerly called Radio Beijing and was originally called Radio Peking. CRI is the People’s Republic of China state-owned international radio broadcaster with its headquarters in Babaoshan, in Beijing.
Jiangsu Broadcasting Cooperation (JSBC), China’s third biggest television network in the city of Nanjing was one our many stops.
JSBC incorporates 14 television channels, including 2 satellite television channels (Jiangsu Satellite Channel and International Channel), 7 terrestrial television channels (City Channel, Variety Show Channel, Film and TV Channel, Public Channel, Channel Win, Children’s Channel and Business Channel), 4 digital pay TV channels (Fashion Channel, Kid’s Education Channel, English Education Channel and Fortune Channel) as well as a mobile TV channel (Jiangsu Mobile TV).
In the meantime, JSBC operates 11 radio frequencies, i.e. the General News Radio, the News Radio, the Voice of Jingling, the Jiangsu Communication Broadcasting Network, the City FM, the Classical Music Radio, the Art Radio, the Story Radio, the Healthy Life Radio and the Economy Radio.
They also run film studio, cinemas, audiovisual press, aside from newspapers, magazines, websites and affiliating school, widely covering the different sectors of the mass media industry. In this sense, JSBC has acquired advantageous resources to facilitate multimedia operation and multi-channel broadcasting in the domestic and the international markets.
Besides that, the delegates also had the chance to tour China and had an insight of the Chinese culture, lifestyle and history. Field trips were arranged for the participants to experience the charm of China’s natural scenery, traditional Chinese culture and a taste of real Chinese cuisine.
We also had the chance to visit all the different organisations and cooperation that has connections with the 16 countries of the delegates.
For Samoa, we visited the company which has strong connection with our country when we were in Nanjing. China Electric Equipment Group (CEEG) a company with the core values of “foresight, innovation and responsibility,” insisting on the responsibility of “output the great power to the world.”
CEEG has devoted to manufacture for more than twenty years, informing four industries: Power transformer, PV solar energy, power electronics, and honeycomb materials. They have been supplying equipments and resources for Samoa during flooding period in Samoa. And according to the President of CEEG, they are keen to have people from Samoa in their training programs in the future, and that the collaboration between Samoa and CEEG will only grow in the future.
CEEG will consistently insist on the product’s idea of safety, saving energy and environmental protection, committed to provide the innovated transmission and distribution for power and photovoltaic solar solution for the society, and output the power to the world!
One of the best organisations we visited was the Sanpower
The seminar was not only a platform for us to learn and communicate with the Chinese officials in the Media Industry, but also a bridge of friendship and cooperation among other media personnel’s from other developing countries.
My first week in China felt like a lifetime!
Having no contact with families and friends here at home and trying to adapt to the new environment, weather, food and the time difference with Samoa and not forgetting the language barrier which was always an issue.
However, I left China with a bag full of knowledge and an experience I will always remember for the rest of my life because I learnt a lot from the trip.
In China, I learnt that cultural differences are much more than just differences in language, food, appearances, and surroundings. Your culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence your way of life and the way that you view the world too. Opportunities like this help to discover new strengths and abilities, overcome new challenges, and see the world from a different perspective.
Coming across situations that are really unfamiliar to you, you begin to learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.
Our whole group became heroes after we climbed and conquered the Great Wall of China and received medals for doing so. I have seen it in movies and heard a lot of stories about it, but being able to experience it was probably something I never thought I would be able to do.
My favourite visit was when we visited the longest river in Asia and the third-longest river in the world, which is in Nanjing called the Yangtze River. We visited the river during night time and it was a tremendous experience.
We visited the Bird Nest Olympic Stadium, Eye of Nanjing Bridge, China’s Agriculture Museum, China Film Museum, Agriculture University in China, International Communication Centre, Sanpower Group, NR Electric Co.LTD, Najing Painting and Calligraphy Institute, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe.
I personally loved my stay in China; however without a strong understanding of the language you will miss out on the hidden wonders. Despite this, I still suggest everybody to go to China and visit, for some of the greatest sites I have ever seen lie in the mysterious land.
And I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by our organization to be a part of a very useful and fact filled seminar and for giving me the chance to see China.