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Kenya-China news ready to counter fake news

Xinhua Sub-Saharan Africa Bureau in Nairobi Leader Mr. Lee Xin has asked the Kenya News Agency to join hands in supporting each other to build the image of Kenya in China and around the world and reverse the same by building the image of China in Kenya and around the world.

Xin said this when the New Director of Information, who is also Head Kenya News Agency, Mr. Joseph Kipkoech, led a team of officers drawn from the department on an informal familiarisation tour at the Chinese Xinhua News Agency Sub-Saharan Africa Bureau in Nairobi on Saturday.

The Chinese Xinhua News Agency extended an invitation to their Kenyan counterpart, KNA, to spearhead countering fake news and propaganda by reporting facts based on research to build a true image of the two nations that were victims of western colonial masters.

“We are both victims of western colonisation; we are friends of Kenya and Africa; you are our friends and comrades; help each other,” said Xin.

The two state-owned media agencies have a long history of partnerships and collaborations, sharing a unique common heritage of Kenyan-Chinese media relations since their inception in the 1930s.

The partnerships and collaborations between the two state news agencies are at a crucial stage when final touches are underway to renew the agreements for news and information exchanges ahead of President William Ruto’s visit to China before the end of the year.

Xin observed that the Chinese Xinhua team is relatively younger than Kenya’s KNA old leadership, reflecting the responsibilities bestowed on them by their government agency since it recognises the potential of young professionals.

“Young minds embrace and understand the emerging new media trends leading to professional facilitation of access to information and data, countering the threat of fake news often perpetuated by misuse of new media and hard to grasp by the non-tech-savvy older generation,” said Xin.

He noted that the prevalent fake news industry is a rebellion by unemployed youth who flourish through technology-generated income from online marketing, where one earns depending on the number of people they reach.

“This creates grounds for the youth to generate content and share it online to attract the attention of the reader with unverified or twisted facts and information leading to misinformation, disinformation, and deep fakes,” he said.

This year, 2023, marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Kenya. The friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries continue to deepen.

Kenya and China have close, high-level exchanges. In October, Kenya’s President, Dr. Willam Ruto, is scheduled to pay a state visit to China and have talks with President Xi Jinping, among other top leaders in the country.

By Joseph Kamolo

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