OANA Executive Board’s 44th meeting wraps up

Friday, 2019-04-19 17:55:34
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The closing session of the 44th Executive Board Meeting of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA - The 44th Executive Board Meeting of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) with the theme of “For a professional and innovative journalism” wrapped up in Hanoi on April 19 afternoon after one day of sitting.

Hosted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the meeting focused on three main contents, including strategies of news agencies in response to changes in information use behaviours which focus on video clips and the YouToube platform; fake news and fact-checking; and regaining trust for mainstream news.

This year’s event saw the attendance of about 40 international delegates who are leaders and representatives of the Executive Board’s member news agencies and invited OANA members, including influential news agencies in the world - Azertac (Azerbaijan), TASS (Russia), Xinhua (China), Kyodo News (Japan), Yonhap (the Republic of Korea), AAP (Australia).

Addressing the first session, OANA President Aslan Aslanov said: “The OANA Executive Board Meetings serve as a platform for discussing current affairs and ways of developing the organization and making decisions. We also exchange views on various topics to address the challenges facing news agencies.

According to the OANA President, the problem of fake news is the most pressing issue today as it plagues news agencies the most. All OANA member agencies boast long years of history and experience, some even are almost hundred years old. The principles of identifying and fact-checking news before publishing have earned OANA news agencies high confidence. That's why OANA is truly a team of the most reliable news producers.

Another point is related to news agencies’ daily business which is increasingly dependent on technology, Aslanov said, adding that the application of innovations is crucial to gaining an audience and maintaining efficient exchange of information with partner media organisations.

At the session, the Executive Board discussed and endorsed amendments to the OANA Statute, which were drafted and proposed by the working group comprising of the current, previous and next president-agencies, which are AZERTAG, TASS and Yonhap. This working group was also supposed to draft proposals to the General Assembly regarding the criteria for membership.

The Executive Board agreed that the Secretary General would collect all the decisions made to the Statute, put them together and distribute among the Board members within the next 2 weeks, circulate the amendment proposals to all the OANA members by May 7 at the latest.

In the afternoon session, the delegates deliberated issues facing news agencies and measures to enhance the efficiency of news agencies in the digital era.

VNA Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh held that to regain the audience’s trust in mainstream news, it is necessary to come back to the core values of journalism, professionalism, balance and multi-dimension. Journalists need to verify information carefully, especially amidst spreading fake news, improve the quality of their products, enhance professional ethics, master skills to use new technologies in the working process.

VNA Deputy General Director Minh said newsrooms and individual journalists in Vietnam wanted to apply various tools or actions into their working process to improve the quality of their stories and draw users away from fake news. While producing verified news articles in various languages, the VNA has been focused on analysis and in-depth stories, on constructive and solutions journalism.

The VNA Deputy General Director concluded that news publishers had to maintain a sustainable trust with their clients and end-users, making them come back to mainstream journalism, and even pay for high quality content. To that end, each agency and each journalist must try their best to bring the best service to the citizens, not only to sell a story or a newspaper.

At the closing ceremony, the Executive Board announced the OANA Award for Excellence in News Agency Quality, which is designed to further experience exchange between OANA members and to improve the quality of making news.