OANA President Aslan Aslanov`s message regarding the improvement of the organization’s activities

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Theme: Proposals to conduct conferences at OANA, establish Training Academy, organize General Secretariat Office and other issues

Dear OANA members, our organization has been successfully functioning over many years through our combined efforts. We are well aware of how technological breakthroughs impact the work of news agencies nowadays. We are constantly trying to be prepared to respond to new challenges and making efforts to promote innovations and build our work in a more effective manner in an era of widespread information sources like social networks and new media. During such a complicated period, which encourages creative changes, news organizations like OANA play the role of platforms that open up extensive opportunities for exchange of experience. Joint development of agencies has taken topicality recently. Asia is a source of great opportunities and great potential. It is an important and inevitable fact that news agencies dominate the information market in our rapidly developing region.
Dear colleagues, I would like to share with you a number of proposals on how to develop the activities of our organization. Each of us has a great role to play in OANA's activities and it is important to jointly discuss these proposals and learn your ideas. We plan to consider these proposals at the OANA Executive Board meeting scheduled for September 3 this year in Tehran. We would like other member agencies to provide their feedbacks so that we can highlight them during the meeting.

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Holding conferences in order to share experience

-As you know, under OANA's Statutes, the Executive Board meeting is held twice a year, and only members of the Executive Board, the Ethics and Technical committees attend these meetings. And the OANA General Assembly convenes once every three years with the participation of all member agencies. We would like other member agencies, which are not members of the Executive Board, to have an opportunity to be involved in the organization’s activities every year. Therefore, we propose holding a conference or a workshop as part of the Executive Board meetings bringing together all member agencies in order to exchange experience. We want other member agencies to benefit from the organization's activities too.
These conferences would address a variety of issues, including development of our agencies, prospects, and the problems and challenges that we face. I believe that such conferences could be of great benefit to Asian news agencies and help them improve news production and develop staff proficiency.

Establishment of Training Academy

-We propose establishing a Training Academy for training professional staff. As I have mentioned, modern challenges require us to be ready for innovations and technological knowledge. We can hold trainings for employees of OANA member agencies through this Academy conducted by specialists. We believe this can help all of our members to benefit from the Organization’s activities.

Establishment of the Office of General Secretariat

-We can also consider the establishment of the Office of OANA’s General Secretariat in order to permanently maintain the organization`s functionality. Under the current Statutes, OANA's Secretary General shall be a representative of the chair agency and changed every three years in parallel with the chair agency. We would like to suggest that we lift the restriction on the election of the Secretary General for a term of 3 years and re-election of the same person to this position irrespective of the chair agency. We believe that the establishment of the General Secretariat could give the Organization the advantages of having centralized document management, organizing events and carrying out organizational works in a more efficient and effective manner, circulating newsletters on the changes happening in member agencies, etc.

Organization of photo contests

-We also propose holding an annual photo contest featuring all the OANA members. We can choose a completely independent group of experts as a jury of the contest from countries that are beyond the geography of our organization. The jury can be comprised of 5 or 6 famous experts representing Latin America, Africa, the EU, North America (USA and Canada). Winners can be awarded prize money from the OANA’s fund.

Revitalizing OANA’s website

-Revitalizing OANA's website, improving it to modern standards is another task that we face. Over the past two years, the number of visits to OANA's website has increased twice. This is a result of dedicated and effective work. As a chair agency, we are trying to spread news articles, photos and videos on the social networks and search engines. We are working on a mobile version of the website. I would like to call on all my colleagues to be more active in sending photo and video content to the website. We can also consider, if needed, creating a paid service.
Dear colleagues, I hope that through joint efforts we will be able to ensure innovations in OANA's activities. Please feel free to submit us your suggestions and ideas via the email: [email protected].

Sincerely,

Aslan Aslanov
President, OANA,
President, News Agencies World Congress,
Chairman of the Board, Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZERTAC)