44thOANA Executive Board Meeting
Minutes of the 44thOANA Executive Board Meeting
April 19, 2019, Hanoi, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Participants (in alphabetic order):
Members of the Executive Board, Technical and Ethical Committees:
Anadolu Agency (Turkey), AAP (Australia), AZERTAG (Azerbaijan), Antara (Indonesia), BERNAMA (Malaysia), BNA (Bahrain), IRNA (Iran), Kyodo News (Japan), MONTSAME News Agency (Mongolia), TASS (Russia), Vietnam News Agency (VNA), WAM Emirates News Agency (UAE), Xinhua News Agency (China), Yonhap News Agency (South Korea).
Invited members of OANA beyond its Executive Board: AKP, KPL
Guests: BTA (Bulgaria), Sourcefabric
Absent members of the Executive Board, Technical and Ethical Committees: Kazinform (Kazakhstan), KUNA (Kuwait), Mehr News Agency (Iran), NNA (Lebanon), PTI (India).
President of OANA Mr. Aslan Aslanov, and
Secretary General of OANA Mr. Vugar Seidov.
National Anthem of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam played.
A short film titled “Vietnam News Agency, A Responsible Member of OANA” screened.
Welcome remarks by VNA General Director Mr. Nguyen Duc Loi
Mr. Nguyen Duc Loi thanked OANA President Mr. Aslan Aslanov, AZERTAG colleagues, and OANA member agencies for their support and companionship with the VNA during the organisation of the meeting.
He pointed to the competitive environment and challenges facing the press, especially the spread of fake information, which has eroded public trust in mainstream news.
Given this, he emphasised OANA news agencies’ role of not only providing information but also verifying information, thus bringing accurate and humane information to press agencies and readers.
He touched upon three main issues to be discussed at the meeting - “Strategies of news agencies in response to changes in information use behaviours”, “Fake news and fact-checking”, and “Regaining trust in mainstream news”.
Speech by Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Mr. Vu Duc Dam
Deputy Prime Minister Mr.Vu Duc Dam stressed the important role of OANA as a leading news agency organization in the region and the world, and lauded contributions made by the organization and its member agencies.
He pointed to the tough competition that the traditional press has been facing, particularly serious problems caused by social media, and urged the sector to employ latest technologies to stay competitive.
He said pursuing a more professional and innovative journalism would lend news agencies strength to captivate audience and bolster public confidence, especially when fake news were doing damage to the image of the press.
He said the VNA’s cooperation with more than 40 international news agencies had significantly contributed to promoting the image of Vietnamese culture and people.
Speech of gratitude by OANA President, Mr. Aslan Aslanov, Chairman of the Executive Board of the AZERTAG
Mr. Aslan Aslanov thanked the Government of Vietnam, VNA General Director Mr. Nguyen Duc Loi and VNA staff for the excellent organization of the meeting.
The OANA President said modern media underwent dramatic changes driven by the advanced technological innovations. He pointed to the need for ensuring a timely application of innovations, benefiting from technological advantages and being prepared to face future trends.
He stressed the importance of mutual exchange of experiences among media outlets, adaption to modern innovations, and preservation of the traditions of journalism.
He warned of dangerous trends, including the growth of fake news, and called for efforts to address these challenges and maintain the accuracy, objectivity and impartiality of news.
He suggested the organization immediately apply innovations and create more flexible news exchange mechanisms.
OANA Secretary General Mr. Vugar Seidov’s opening remarks
Mr. Vugar Seidov extended his thanks to VNA, the host agency for organizing the meeting.
He noted that this November, AZERTAG would pass over the presidency in OANA to Yonhap, which would host the next, the 17th General Assembly on November 6-9. While the presidency in the World Congress would be passed over to the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), which would host the 6th World Congress in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, on June 13-15.
Approval of the minutes of the 43rd EBM and adoption of the agenda of the 44th EBM
The Board approved the minutes of the 43rd EBM held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on September 3, 2018, and adopted the agenda of the 44th EBM.
Speech by President of OANA, Mr. Aslan Aslanov, Chairman of the Executive Board of AZERTAG Agency
Mr. Aslan Aslanov cited the problem of fake news as the most pressing issue today. Given the spread of fake news, it was vital for OANA member agencies to preserve and protect their values as the most reliable news producers, he stressed.
The OANA President said it was crucial to apply innovations to gain more audience and maintain efficient exchange of information with partner media organizations.
He noted that the proposals discussed during the previous EBM in Tehran aimed to further modernize OANA through applying the best practices at the organization. He affirmed the support for any initiatives of innovations for the further development of the organization.
Discussion and endorsement of amendments to OANA Statute
In this session, the Board discussed and endorsed amendments to the Statute of OANA, which will be taken to the General Assembly for further discussion and adoption. The amendments were drafted and proposed by the Working Group comprising of the 3 agencies (current, previous and next president-agencies), which are AZERTAG, TASS and Yonhap.
- The Board discussed and endorsed the amendment to Article 1, which was to add item “i” to the end of Article 1, as follows: “i. To make joint efforts to protect the intellectual property rights of news productions by each member and deal with infringements of intellectual property rights, including piracy, plagiarism, copyright manipulation and distortion, and other illicit uses and unauthorized distribution of members’ news productions by media outlets or individuals.”
This amendment was proposed by Yonhap and endorsed by the Working Group. Yonhap’s Senior Staff Writer Ms. Lee Dong Min explained that the proposed amendment stemmed from need to protect the intellectual property rights of news agencies. She cited the case of Yonhap which recently discovered that a local private-owned wire service for years has been distributing photos from North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, with which Yonhap has the exclusive distribution rights for domestic use. This agency fabricated the source of the photos to make them look like they were provided by AFP. Yonhap thus considered revision of the Statute necessary for guarding intellectual property rights, a task that needed concerted efforts of OANA members.
- The Board discussed and endorsed the amendment related to Part II “Membership”, under which the word “UNESCO” referred to in Article 2 and Article 3 is replaced with the word “the United Nations”.
This amendment was proposed by TASS Agency and endorsed by the Working Group. The reason for making this amendment was that OANA membership should be open to news agencies of all United Nations member countries from the Asia-Pacific region, rather than to UNESCO, which is only a part of the UN, said TASS First Deputy Director General Mr. Mikhail Gusman.
- The Board discussed and endorsed the amendment to Article 2 as follows:
“a. Membership in the Organisation shall be open to news agencies of the United Nations member countries in Asia and the Pacific, subject to the provision of Part II herein.
- As of 2019, membership in the Organisation shall be limited to one news agency per country, not to be applied retroactively.”
This amendment to Article 2 was proposed by AZERTAG and endorsed by the Working Group. It aims to limit membership to one agency per country, not effective retroactively.
- The Board discussed and endorsed the removal of Article 3, item “c”, which now loses its relevance with the above endorsed amendment to Article 2 concerning membership.
- With the removal of the above item “c”, Article 3, item “d” now becomes item “c”. The Board discussed and endorsed the amendment to Article 3, item “c” as follows “c. Executive Board has the discretion to reject such application or admit and take it to the final voting in the General Assembly”.
- The Board discussed and endorsed the addition of item “d” to Article 3 as follows: “d. General Assembly endorses or rejects the admission of a new member by majority of votes”.
This amendment is to make sure that the final decision on admission of new members shall be made at the General Assembly.
- The Board discussed and endorsed the amendment to Article 3, which was proposed by Yonhap.
This amendment adds the words “and membership criteria described in part Ⅱ herein.” to Article 3, item ‘b’, after the words “keeping in view internationally recognised definition of a news agency”. With this amendment, Article 3, item “b” now fully reads as follows: “b. The Executive Board may prescribe qualification for membership keeping in view internationally recognised definition of a news agency and membership criteria described in Part II herein.”
- The Board discussed and endorsed the amendment to Article 19 as follows: “The Executive Board may enter into agreements or arrangements covering the relationship with other organizations as provided for in Part 1. Such agreements or arrangements may be initialed by the President, the Vice-Presidents or the Secretary-General and shall be approved by the Executive Board at its next session.”
This amendment aimed to give the President, his deputies and the Secretary-General the authorization to act on behalf of the Executive Board to initial agreements of cooperation and memorandums of understanding with various regional and sub-regional organizations. The initialed documents would be then approved at the next EBM.
- The Board agreed that the Secretary General would collect all the endorsed amendments to the Statute, put them together and distribute among the Board Members within the next 2 weeks, and circulate these amendment proposals to all OANA members by May 7, 2019 (six months before the General Assembly) at the latest.
TASS First Deputy Director General Mr. Mikhail Gusman’s update about the initialed agreement with FAAPA.
Mr. Mikhail Gusman briefed the Board on his attendance at the FAAPA General Assembly in Rabat in December 2018, and his signing of a framework agreement with FAAPA, which was set to enhance relations with African news agencies.
Discussion and adoption of OANA Flag
The Board discussed and adopted the Flag of OANA, which will be taken to the General Assembly for the formal adoption through voting.
Discussion on the internal OANA procedure regarding membership fee payment by agencies with restricted banking access and international limitations
At the Tehran meeting in September 2018, Mehr News Agency suggested to make amendments regarding the issue to the Statute. However, the Secretary General was of the view that the Statute should not include all kinds of specific situations. He, therefore, proposed to make the payment issue an internal procedure and should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Mr Vugar Seidov cited an example, in order to enable IRNA and Mehr News Agency to pay membership fee to AZERTAG during the current tenure, the AZERTAG Tehran Bureau had been taking cash from the Iranian colleagues and then making payment to the OANA bank account.
Now that, AZERTAG was to hand over the presidency to Yonhap and Yonhap should reach a new mechanism to handle the issues with the two Iranian agencies. Ms. Lee Dong Min from Yonhap informed the meeting that her agency has bureau in Tehran and that the AZERTAG’s method of payment can be applied.
The Board was informed that the General Secretary would distribute the file of OANA membership fee payments and balance to Board Members by email.
Address by IRNA Director General for Administration Mr. Gholam Reza Nemati
Mr. Gholam Reza Nemati stressed the need to take innovative measures and promote closer cooperation to share experience among OANA members to keep up with the latest developments in media industry.
He affirmed IRNA’s support for fresh initiatives to enhance greater cooperation among the members.
Mr. Gholam Reza Nemati reiterated IRNA’s candidacy for OANA presidency during the 2022-2025 term.
Update about the Technical Report by the Secretary General
The report covered the five major points of mobile version, activity of member agencies, website audience, social media engagement and SEO optimization.
It said OANA’s web-sourced resources are now easily available on mobile devices.
In 2018, 23 agencies posted a total of 41,585 news stories on the website.
The number of visitors to the website in 2018 increased 35% from last year to 61,000.
The numbers of Facebook and Twitter followers are 740 and 135, respectively, with 78,000 news stories having been twitted so far..
The sitemap was updated and Google Analytic and Search Console were set up for Mobile app.
Presentation on regaining trust for mainstream media by VNA Deputy General Director Mr. Le Quoc Minh
Mr. Le Quoc Minh raised the concern of fake news and negative consequences of social media.
He gave specific examples of fake news, including mainstream news, in Vietnam and around the world, the dissemination of which had caused confusion among the public as well as overall distrust of the press.
To win back public trust in mainstream media, he stressed the need for news agencies to stick to core values of journalism, including professionalism, verification, high quality, ethics, and being innovative and disruptive.
He also suggested news agencies keep up with new technologies, cooperate in reporting, and be transparent to audience and in newsroom, while showing their social responsibility.
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, he concluded.
Presentation on fake news and fast-checking journalism by Ms. Lee Dong Min, Senior Staff Writer at English Economy News Desk, Yonhap
Ms. Lee Dong Min warned the rise of fake news published by media outlets as a serious problem. She took an example of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, when false reports about the candidates ran wild.
Ms. Lee Dong Min said South Korea’s media outlets were strengthening their fact-checking mechanisms to prevent damage from spreading fake news and allow the readers to decide what the facts are when there are conflicting versions of stories.
She spoke about Yonhap’s fact-check team, which was officially launched in April 2018. Yonhap’s fact-check team filed 140 articles after its launch, identifying the facts in the coverage of different areas of news.
She also introduced Yonhap’s video fact-check service named “Weekly Fact Check” to deal with fake news on YouTube.
Sourcefabric’s presentation on Superdesk by Mr. Karel Petrak, Project Manager; and Mr. Renat Isch, Business Development Manager
Mr. Renat Isch introduced the organisation and operation of Sourcefabric – Europe’s largest developer of open source tools for news agencies.
He explained Superdesk is an end-to-end editorial system for news agencies; and has a structured, yet user-friendly editorial environment; and a flexible and scalable architecture.
Mr. Karel Petrak briefed on Superdesk planning component, editorial system, Newshub - customer portal and live blog.
They cleared up delegates’ questions regarding communication between news agencies joining Superdesk, cooperation contracts, and business model and Superdesk security.
After their presentation, Mr. Vugar Seidov said the OANA would consider a new channel and may come up with similar software in the future.
Annoucement of the results of the OANA Award Vote
Secretary General Mr. Vugar Seidov announced the winners of the OANA Award as follows:
8 points were given to Russia Today.
9 points were earned by AA.
16 points went to Yonhap.
AZERTAG took the third place with 19 points.
TASS won the second place with 22 points.
The first place was shared by two agencies-VNA and Xinhua which both earned 28 points.
The Award (1,000 USD) will be given to the winners (Xinhua and VNA) at the General Assembly in Seoul.
Address by Yonhap President and CEO Mr. Cho Sung Boo
Mr. Cho Sung Boo announced that Yonhap would host the 17th OANA General Assembly and invited Ms. Lee Dong Min to update the Board on the preparations of the congress.
Announcement regarding preparations for the 17th OANA General Assembly by Ms. Lee Dong Min, Senior Staff Writer at English Economy News Desk, Yonhap Agency
Ms. Lee Dong Min said the 17th OANA General Assembly would take place from November 6-9, 2019 at Lotte Hotel Seoul – a favored venue for international summits and meetings.
The event would bring together representatives of 44 OANA member news agencies from 35 countries, and observers from the Regional Alliances of News Agencies.
She briefed the Board on the congress tentative schedule, which would include various sessions, the election of new OANA Presidency and Executive Board, meetings of the current and new Boards, and a cultural program covering technical tours and tours to local historical sites and attractions.
Representatives of IT conglomerates would also be invited to the meeting to talk about future technology and technologies to be converged with media industry.
The General Assembly is expected to reap tangible results through discussions and debates, and seek solutions to difficulties facing news agencies.
Announcement by Director General of BTA Mr. Maxim Minchev
Director General of BTA Mr. Maxim Minchev thanked OANA President and VNA to invite him to the 44th OANA EBM.
Mr. Minchev announced the 6th NAWC would take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, in June 2019 under the title “The future of news”.
The event, to be attended by around 180 people from 111 agencies of 91 countries, would have four main discussion workshops covering: New sources of revenue, Fake news, Artificial Intelligence and Media Ownership Models, he said.
Closing speech by OANA President Mr. Aslan Aslanov
The 44th OANA Executive Board Meeting was productive, Mr. Aslan Aslanov said, believing that many of the remarks delivered at the meeting would be realised in the near future and contribute to the news agencies’ common cause.
He said AZERTAG, which was currently chairing both the News Agencies World Congress and the OANA General Assembly, would hand over the presidency to BTA and Yonhap news agencies.
He informed that AZERTAG had assisted BTA in preparations for the Congress and was ready to assist Yonhap in organizing the OANA General Assembly.
He congratulated the winners of the OANA Excellence Award, and thanked the delegates for their attendance and VNA General Director Mr. Nguyen Duc Loi for his warm hospitality.
Closing remarks by OANA Secretary General Mr. Vugar Seidov
Mr. Vugar Seidov thanked the delegates for their attendance and contributions to the meeting, the host VNA for organizing the wonderful event, and the VNA’s staff for their cooperation. He said the road to the General Assembly is open and cleared.
VNA and WAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on the sidelines of the 44th OANA EBM in Hanoi, on April 19.
The collection of the Country Reports, Technical Report, and Superdesk presentation were distributed among delegates.
Director General Nguyen Duc Loi of the Vietnam News Agency
at the 44th OANA Meeting
Hanoi on April 19, 2019
H.E. Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,
H.E. Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communication,
H.E. Mr. Aslan Aslanov, OANA President and Chairman of the Azerbaijan State News Agency;
H.E. Mr. Michael Croft, Head of UNESCO Office in Vietnam;
Distinguished guests, His and Her Excellencies the Ambassadors, and dear OANA colleagues,
On behalf of the Vietnam News Agency, I would like to extend the warmest greetings to all of you at the opening session of the 44th OANA Executive Board Meeting in Hanoi. I hope that the beauty of Vietnam and the friendliness of its people will contribute to the success of the meeting.
As the host of the 44th OANA Executive Board Meeting, I would like to express my gratitude to OANA President Aslan Aslanov, AzerTac colleagues, and OANA member agencies for your support and companionship with VNA during the organization of the meeting. In the last five decades since it became an OANA member in 1969, VNA has been an active member of the organization and made various contributions to activities enhancing the development of journalism in the Asia-Pacific.
The hosting of the 44th OANA Executive Board Meeting once again affirms the role and voice of the state news agency of Vietnam in this multilateral press forum, the largest of its kind in the region.
The world's population now stands at 7.7 billion, of whom 52 percent are Internet users. They use the Internet not only to communicate but also to provide information. This has created fierce competition against mainstream news.
As such, not only do press organizations compete with each other, but they also unfairly compete with their own traditional readers who are switching to social networking platforms to spread information. The unfairness that I mention here is that while the press needs to verify information, conduct interviews, or collect relevant data to bring overall and objective information to the public, many organizations and individuals use social media accounts to spread unlimited amounts of unchecked and subjective information with only one click, some with negative intentions of making profits and causing social chaos.
Furthermore, the co-existence of real and fake information across many communication platforms has made the public lose faith in mainstream news.
Distinguished delegates and OANA colleagues,
The function of news agencies is providing source information for press organizations and other partners. OANA member news agencies have transformed themselves to perform the role of not only providing information but also verifying the information to fulfill their mission of bringing accurate and humane information to press agencies and readers.
Those are also the contents to be discussed at the 44th Meeting of the OANA Executive Board, under the theme of "For professional and innovative journalism". There will be three main issues, which are "Strategies of news agencies in response to changes in information use behaviors", "Fake news and fact-checking", and "Regaining trust in mainstream news".
I believe that the conference will create an opportunity for us to exchange and share experience to build a healthy press environment, meeting the public's right of access to information.
Before concluding my speech, I would like to thank H.E. Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister of the Social Republic of Vietnam, for his presence here today. The Government of Vietnam and the Deputy Prime Minister himself always pay special attention to the operation and development of Vietnamese and international press. The presence of the Deputy Prime Minister at the opening of the 44th Meeting of the OANA Executive Board is a great source of encouragement for the development of the press in general and particularly the Vietnam News Agency's reporters and staff.
On this occasion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the representatives from the ministries, sectors, and branches of Vietnam, UNESCO, and diplomatic corps who are present today–who have accompanied press agencies in the mission of increasing mutual understanding and sharing among nations for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world.
I hope that the 44th Meeting of the OANA Executive Board will be a resounding success and that all of the distinguished delegates have a wonderful time in Vietnam while visiting the capital of Hanoi–also known as the city for peace, and Ha Long Bay–the world's natural heritage site.
May I respectfully invite H.E. Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to give a welcome speech to the meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
at the 44th OANA Meeting
Hanoi on April 19, 2019
- Aslan Ahmad Aslanov, President of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies, Chairman of AzerTac news agency,
- Leaders and Executives of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies,
- His and her Excellencies Ambassadors and foreign dignitaries,
On behalf of the Government of Vietnam, we would like to welcome leaders and executives of news agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, esteemed guests and friends who gather here for the 44th Executive meeting of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies.
Since its formation in 1961 on the recommendation of UNESCO, the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) has become the world's largest news organization, which produces two-thirds of the world's news, and a forum for information exchange between news agencies that help bring the region's countries official news to the world.
In recent years, in the wake of numerous forms of communications based on modern technologies as well as fast and widespread of faked news, not only does OANA serve as a direct channel to provide information to news organizations and partners, but it also operates as a fact checker to help bolster the trust of the public in traditional press.
OANA's activities, including building journalism guideline in news reporting, editing, and granting of awards in quality journalism and photo exhibition, are aimed to improve the effectiveness of information and to strengthen its role as a leading news organization in the region and in the world.
We highly appreciate the numerous contributions made by the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies and its member agencies. We would like to congratulate the organization on its current development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the age of information technology and the coming of the 4th industrial revolution, news organizations around the world are facing unprecedented opportunities as well as challenges.
The public's demand for information, in various forms, has been on the increase, especially a demand to share and interact.
There are 4 billion Internet users today, with more than 3 billion users on social media platforms. This has put the traditional press in tough competition with social media, the press does not only have to keep true to the new standards but also must employ the latest technologies to stay competitive.
The theme of this year's meeting: "For a professional and innovation journalism" highlights the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies´ mission objective and its member agencies. Pursuing a more professional and innovative approach to journalism will lend news organizations the strength to captivate the audience and bolster the public's confidence, especially when faked news are doing damage to the image of the press.
With a comprehensive working agenda that cover numerous topics, we hope that the meeting will produce many ideas, solutions, and recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies and its members. We also hope for the promotion of information exchange in and from the Asia-Pacific region, a fast-growing and dynamic region with 50 percent of the world's population and account for 43 percent of global GDP.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since the Reform era, Vietnam has made milestones in its development effort, which have been recognized and appreciated by the international community.
During that journey, the Vietnamese press has been standing side by side with the country. Today, there are nearly 1,000 media organizations in Vietnam that employ 41,000 workers, of which 19,000 are journalists.
The Vietnamese press and the Vietnam News Agency will continue to play an important part in bringing the news on the latest policies and laws to the people, in protecting citizen rights and to help promote the image of the Vietnamese culture and people.
The agency's cooperation and information exchange with more than 40 international news agencies around the world has played an important part in the promotion of Vietnam as a beautiful country, of Vietnamese people as a friendly and peace-loving people. The Vietnam News Agency will remain a bridge to connect Vietnam with our international friends and partners.
This year's hosting of the 44th OANA meeting in Hanoi has significant meaning as it marks the 50 years the agency has been a part of the OANA.
We believe that the 44th OANA meeting will bring a breath of fresh air to the development of the organization as well as the member agencies.
We would like to wish our esteemed delegates and honored guests a successful and fruitful meeting and a brilliant development for the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies.
Speech of gratitude by OANA President, Mr.Aslan Aslanov at the Opening Ceremony
Distinguished Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr Vu Duc Dam.
Dear friends and colleagues, dear guests,
Let me first express my gratitude to the Government of Vietnam, Director General of Vietnam News Agency Mr. Nguyen Duc Loi and the staff of the VNA news agency for the excellent organization of the meeting.
Hosting the OANA Executive Board meeting is a valuable asset by the Vietnamese government to the development of the media, deepening of relations among media organizations and the global discussion of the main journalism-related problems. Such a sensitive approach to media issues is a great contribution to a timely response to modern challenges facing journalism.
I can say with confidence that the Vietnam News Agency is one of the most active members of OANA and its Executive Board. By perfectly organizing this meeting and demonstrating its commitment to excellence and professionalism in news industry, the Vietnam News Agency once again proved itself to be the leading media outlet in the region. I wish the whole VNA staff further success.
It is a well-known fact that modern media have undergone dramatic changes driven by the advanced technological innovations. This process is gradually growing, encouraging us to address the newly emerging challenges. For all of us the key priorities include ensuring a timely application of innovations, benefiting from technological advantages and being prepared to face future trends.
At this time mutual exchange of experience among media outlets is of crucial importance. And the route to mutual cooperation lies in commitment to modern requirements, excellence and professionalism. As the president of the News Agencies World Congress (NAWC) and OANA, AZERTAC news agency is sparing no efforts to collaborate with you to contribute to the improvement of the organization’s activity. We therefore always maintain focus on three factors - effective cooperation mechanisms, innovations and exchange of experience.
It is vital to adapt to modern innovations. At the same time it is our professional duty to preserve the traditions of journalism.
As online media and social networks are expanding and a dangerous trend such as fake news is growing, we must make continuous efforts in order to address these challenges and maintain the accuracy, objectivity and impartiality of news.
OANA, which includes major news agencies of the region, can grow into a powerful platform for addressing these challenges. To this end, we should immediately apply innovations, continue to modernize our organization and create more flexible news exchange mechanisms. I believe this is what we all want and each of us is ready to contribute to this cause.
I am confident that this meeting will make vital contribution to the deepening of our cooperation and help us succeed in developing regional media.
I greet you once again and wish all of us a successful meeting.
Speech by Aslan Aslanov, OANA President
at the 2nd session
Dear colleagues and friends,
I once again greet and thank each and every one of you for taking part in the session. Let me first of all express my gratitude on behalf of member agencies to the Director General of Vietnam News Agency Nguyen Duc Loi and the staff of the VNA news agency for putting a tremendous amount of work into organizing this meeting.
As you know, 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. The agenda of today’s meeting features interesting issues such as video content, fake news, news agencies as a reliable news source. I can say that all these issues have already become a reality for each news agency.
The problem of fake news is the most pressing issue today as it plagues news agencies the most. But the traditions of journalism that we count on during our daily work serve as a shield against fake and confusing news. All OANA member agencies boast long years of history and experience, some even are almost hundred years old. Our principles of identifying and fact-checking news before publishing have earned us high confidence. That's why OANA is truly a team of the most reliable news producers. At a time when fake news has become widespread, this is our greatest advantage and our greatest asset. It is therefore vital to preserve, protect and pass on these values to our successors. OANA can serve as a center of excellence in generalizing these principles, maintaining them on the agenda and preserving their relevance as we live in the era of advanced technologies. Just imagine news agencies spreading unverified information. This can have unbelievable implications for the society. Therefore, as long as there are news agencies and the principles of journalism live, the society can feel safe, because although fake news is widespread, we are capable of retaliating with accurate and reliable news. From this point of view, OANA is a very valuable and trusted organization with rich experience.
Another point is related to our daily business which is increasingly dependent on technology. The application of innovations is crucial to gaining an audience and maintaining efficient exchange of information with partner media organizations. We all are striving to equip our news agencies with up-to-date technologies and capitalize on the opportunity to use them to improve the efficiency of our daily work. I am confident that we will make the most of the opportunity this meeting gives us to improve our experience and find new solutions. It is such challenges that encourage us to a closer cooperation.
We discussed a range of proposals aimed at improving OANA during the previous Executive Board Meeting held in Tehran. I do not want to waste your time by dwelling on these issues because our reflections are posted on the organization's website. So everyone can read and even comment on these issues.
I would like to note that those proposals stem from our intentions to further modernize our organization through applying the best practices at OANA. In fact, we do not discover anything new, we just talk about the existing practice. The implementation mechanisms for these proposals are already available. Of course, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the organization. Possible changes should be directed to the benefit of each agency, which is also pointed out in those proposals. Of course, through joining efforts we improve and enrich each proposal. This is in everyone’s interest. Anyway, we make decisions together and these decisions can be made only after all points are taken into account because transparency is the key factor.
These proposals were born out of need. What kind of needs? They include the improvement of the OANA Charter, renewal of the website, which is 7 years old and uses old technologies, benefiting from the best practices of Xinhua, Anadolu Agency, TASS, Australian Associated Press, Kyodo and many other leading member agencies. Ill-timed introduction of innovations may put any organization at risk of becoming inefficient. Everything is in our hands. We therefore stand ready to support any initiatives in this regard both now and in the future for the sake of our common interests.
We inherited this organization from its founding fathers and will pass it on to future generations. The new generation is growing up in the era of advanced technologies, and they excel in innovations.
Dear friends, I am confident that the OANA will be improved and strengthened. It is absolutely imperative that we demonstrate unity in implementing our efforts. I believe that OANA will continue to be an effective organization for member agencies.
Thank you for your attention.