KYODO News Agency Director General Mr. Satoshi Ishikawa,
Distinguished Delegates of Executive Board,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start my speech by expressing my thanks to our hosts, Kyodo News for hosting of the 34th OANA Executive Board Meeting despite the devastating earthquake and tsunamis that caused an immense human suffering and a big setback to the economy. Therefore I would like to extend my gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality from the organizing committee of this occasion, especially from Mr. Satoshi Ishikawa, Director General of KYODO News Agency.
As Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies, we are today here, beautiful city of Tokyo, to have the 34th OANA Executive Board Meeting. I would like thank and welcome our distinguished Executive Board Members for their complete participation. With your ideas, opinions and support I believe we will have a very productive meeting.
OANA has grown to become the largest regional news agency alliance in the world with 44 national news agencies in it. They share their top stories, pictures and video as well as knowledge and experience and deepen their cooperation as it is determined in OANA statue: To increase and facilitate a freer flow of news and information in Asia and the Pacific.
The world of information is getting bigger and bigger day-by-day. Social media’s captivation of people who are familiar with internet news has reached a whole new level. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are celebrating their milestones now. As you know, if Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd largest country in the world by population. In our latest Meetings, in Istanbul (2010), in Mongolia (2011) and in Thailand (2011-December) we have acknowledged that Internet is not going to dagger the function of Alliance of News Agencies, in fact it can be used as a supporter to be heard and seen all over the world.
I would like to stress the importance of our own OANA 50th Anniversary celebrations in Thailand once again. As you know, the big shift in the media industry does not mean the end for news agencies. Although social media is a great tool to gather and disseminate news, it has some innate problems. It’s a minefield where there are a lot of hoaxes, fake identities, false stories, slanders, disinformation, unethical and graphic pictures of indecency. People hardly stick to media ethics and guidelines on social platforms. As news agencies we know our own strength that we still have a lot of influence and guiding power on the media in general.
As I emphasized at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, it is very important for the peace in Asia-Pacific and the world that we should keep our editors alert against news and images which can shock people and lead them to feelings of hatred, hostility and discrimination against one another.
In this declaration, we both promised to fulfill the public right to accurate and reliable information and also declared our will to uphold the media ethical guidelines.
With these sentiments, I am proud to submit the OANA Ethical Guidelines Declaration to your approval which we have agreed on one of the most important milestones of our organization.
I am sure that 34th Executive Board Meeting is going to be a valuable asset to look forward to our certain goals as OANA.
I would like to thank again for your participation and support for this beautiful organization. Together, let’s keep being the face of reliable and impartial media and information in Asia-Pacific.
Thank you for listening,
President Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies