The 37th OANA Executive Board Meeting, Technical and Ethic Committees Meetings, OANA-FANA Joint Meeting

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16-17 of June, 2014 Bahrain, Manama

Participants:
AAP, Anadolu, Azertac, Bernama, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, Kyodo News, Montsame, VNA, WAM, Xinhua, Yonhap

Opening the 37th Executive Board Meeting of the Organization of Asia Pacific News Agencies (OANA) in Bahrain, the OANA Secretary General Mikhail Gusman delivered the welcome message of the OANA President, Sergey Mikhaylov, in which he greeted all the delegates participating in this meeting.

In his welcome remarks OANA President stated that the organization, established in 1961 at the initiative of UNESCO, now unites 44 agencies in 35 countries. OANA has become a major mass media floor for direct and free information exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region. These member countries account for two-thirds of the world news flow. The countries of the Asia-Pacific Region today generate 60 percent of the world’s GDP and are a home to 40 percent of the world’s population.

The world’s development vector is steadily turning to this region year by year. The role and responsibility of news agencies whose mission is to provide exclusively reliable information is soaring high. Since information influences both public mind and individual politicians in different countries, It is important to arrive at decisions with long-term effects. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the media picture of the world depends on us, on how successful we are in day to day efforts and on our cooperation.

“I hope that as we proceed with the Executive Board activities we shall do our utmost to ensure cooperation of the Asia Pacific news agencies to develop and grow stronger. Unity is the pre-requisite of future successes of our Organization’s mission”.

Thereafter, Mohannad Suleiman, the Director General of the Bahrain News Agency, welcomed the guests. He said it was an honour to witness the distinguished figures from the world leading news agencies coming together to ensure a better and more mature media environment in the service of truth.

“For me the delight is even greater when the gathering for the sake of our collective ambition is taking place in Bahrain. It is an honour for Bahrain to host the 37th OANA Executive Board meeting. I thank the OANA member countries for their confidence in Bahrain. I wish to pay a special tribute to all those who helped in making this gathering possible.

Bahrain, as host, is gratified at your presence here among us, clearly demonstrating your deep commitment to the organization and the collective wish and determination to strengthen its role and objectives. The eyes of the media are now on us. The many journalists affiliated to our agencies place their hope on us and on this meeting to address issues and move forward to a more vibrant future”.

He expressed confidence that the objectives would be met and that the possibility for achieving free usage of the resources would exist at the disposal of the agencies. “We need to have the goodwill and strong determination”.

He prayed that this meeting in Bahrain will give a new and positive direction to OANA. “We all want a success story and you all have a crucial role to play in it”, he said. He also exhorted the participants to find time to visit the different places in Bahrain, over the two days, and experience first-hand the deep-rooted history, the remarkable progress and the beautiful features of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The participants approved the decisions adopted at the organization’s General Assembly in Moscow in 2013. The amendments to the OANA Statute concerning the number of Executive Board members (Part IV Article 10, Part V Article 12) were approved.

Thereafter, Mr. Gusman who chaired the meeting, called for discussion on the future of the Committee for OANA’s advancement and the elections of the Committee members.

After the discussion, it was agreed that each agency will send to the OANA Secretariat their proposals and ideas about advancement of OANA till the end of September. The Secretariat will collect the suggestions and opinions raised and compile it into a report with proposals to discuss during the next OANA EBM.

Thereafter, the meeting moved to the venue and date for the 38th Board meeting. It was agreed that the next EBM will take place in Malaysia, February 12-15, 2015.

Technical Committee meeting
Participants:
AAP, BNA, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, WAM, Yonhap

The Head of the Technical Committee Alexander Klein (ITAR-TASS News agency) has prepared a presentation about OANA web site support since it was passed by Anadolu Agency to ITAR-TASS.
Problem issues were determined:
• Low activity of OANA members in video and photo sections;
• Not all of the members upload their content to the web site;
• There is a need for website automatic data upload trough high load content management systems.
Proposals were made:
• For uploading photos there should be an FTP server for each agency;
• Searching box should be created;
• News archives (weekly or monthly);
• Hashtags for key news;
• Conditions for using OANA web site content should be determined;
• OANA web site design development;
• Social networks accounts should be created.

OANA-FANA joint meeting
Participants
AAP, Anadolu, Azertac, Bernama, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, Kyodo News, Montsame, VNA, WAM, Xinhua, Yonhap, BNA, SPA, MAP, MENA, KUNA

Mr. Abdulla bin Fahad Al-Hussain, President of the Federation of Arab Agencies (FANA), welcomed OANA Executive Board members. He said, Arab news agencies made tangible achievement in terms of joint cooperation, keeping pace, adapting to the information revolution and accelerating exchange of information. He expressed a hope that the OANA-FANA joint meeting would turn to be a start of cooperation through which the aspirations of all gathered could be achieved.

The participants of the meeting found a possibility that after an adoption from both sides the agreement between FANA and OANA is to be signed on the sidelines of the Executive Board meeting on February in Malaysia.
Mr. Mohannad Suleiman, Director General of the Bahrain News Agency, brought a proposal that the OANA and FANA joint meeting can be held in Bahrain once in every two or three years.

Ethic Committee meeting
Participants
AAP, Anadolu, Azertac, Bernama, BNA, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, Kyodo News, Montsame, VNA, WAM, Xinhua, Yonhap

Australian Associated Press Agency worked out OANA Code of Practice and editorial guidelines which were discussed during the meeting.
Bahrain News agency brought a proposal to write additions about cultural aspects and sensitivities of member countries.

View photos of the meeting