Host Vietnam News Agency delegation attends the 10th OANA Executive Board Meeting in Hanoi from June 17-18, 1989. — VNA/VNS File Photo
HÀ NỘI – As the host of the 44th Executive Board Meeting of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) from April 18-20, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) has affirmed its role at the regional multilateral press forum.
The Hà Nội meeting, themed “For a professional and innovative journalism,” will gather leaders of the 44 OANA member news agencies from 35 countries.
The OANA was established in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 22, 1961, at an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
It aims to facilitate information dissemination and exchange between news agencies in Asia-Pacific – a dynamic region that makes up more than half of the global population.
The OANA members, including many major agencies, are responsible for two-thirds of information circulated throughout the world. Everyday, they publish around 200 news stories, photos and video clips on the OANA website at http://www.oananews.org
The annual OANA Executive Board Meeting is held rotationally by Executive Board members. It offers a chance for delegates to share experience in organisation and development of news agencies, get updated on global press development trends, and discuss measures to consolidate cooperation between the agencies.
Since joining the OANA in 1969, the VNA has proven itself as one of the active members of the organisation. The agency was elected to the OANA Executive Board for two consecutive terms, with each lasting for three years.
The VNA hosted the OANA Executive Board Meeting in 1989, 1999 and 2005, actively contributing to completing the organisation’s targets.
From June 17-18, 1989, the agency organised the 10th OANA Executive Board Meeting, the 10th Technical Group Meeting and the sixth Editorial Workshop.
Opening the 10th OANA Executive Board Meeting, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nguyễn Khánh highlighted the important role of information and communication in relations between individuals and collectives in each country, as well as in the development of friendship and cooperation between countries.
The delegates adopted a review report of the meeting and an action programme for the OANA in 1990. The programme aimed at enhancing cooperation between regional news agencies, improving OANA news quality on the ANN in terms of both content and technology, expanding the exchange of news and training, and establishing international order in information and communication.
The 20th OANA Executive Board Meeting in Hà Nội on October 26-27, 1999, saw the participation of 29 delegates representing nine out of the 11 members of the OANA Executive Board.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Gia Khiêm said the coming into being and existence of the OANA has signaled efforts by journalists to contribute to equal integration, cooperation and friendship between countries, for regional peace, friendship, security and development.
The Vietnamese Government highly values the support and endeavours of the OANA member agencies, he said.
The delegates agreed on the need to reform the news agencies to raise their competiveness in the new context and improve the efficiency of collaboration between the agencies, especially in professionalism and technical skills.
The 27th OANA Executive Board Meeting and the 21st meeting of the Editorial and Technical Experts Group took place in Hà Nội on October 3, 2005.
Addressing the event, Deputy PM Khiêm stressed the importance of information and of the OANA member news agencies, explaining that information is a tool that serves the governance and management of each nation, an effective equipment to expand exchanges and increase mutual understanding between countries, a source of knowledge for the public and resources for socio-economic development.
Participants agreed on the necessity of studying measures to spread information quickly to the public when natural disasters occur while applying advanced technology to diversify services.
They also touched upon challenges posed by the mushrooming of websites and increasing number of internet users. Given that, news agencies need to maintain the speed, accuracy and reliability of information.
With the role of a “State news bank”, the VNA performs its function as the State news agency and provides official and mainstream news for its partners at home and abroad via 15 news departments of domestic and foreign service.
Boasting a network of 63 bureaus in all the cities and provinces nationwide and 30 overseas bureaus across the five continents, the VNA has a strong contingent of reporters and editors working all over the country and in most of the key locations around the world, which creates a unique advantage for it.
With more than 60 media products by more than 1,300 reporters and editors out of its 2,500-strong staff, the VNA is now the media office having the largest number of products and forms in the country: bulletins, photos, television programmes, dailies, weeklies, monthlies, magazines, pictorials, books, TV channel, e-newspapers and information programmes on mobile platforms.
The agency also delivers news in the largest number of languages. In addition to official Vietnamese-language news provided for domestic and foreign media outlets, stories for foreign services are written in English, Chinese, French and Spanish, not to mention print and e-newspapers in 10 languages: Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, English, French and Spanish.
The VNA has bilateral and multilateral partnership with more than 40 international news agencies and press organisations in the world and is a member of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA).
The agency’s official news is widely published on communication channels of its partners, contributing to improving the effectiveness of disseminating Việt Nam’s external information to international friends.
Keeping up with journalism trend
Deputy General Director of Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Vũ Việt Trang said during OANA’s annual executive board meetings and triennial General Assembly meetings, delegates will discuss experience in dealing with issues faced by contemporary press, the possibility of cooperation with press organisations in other regions, and the establishment of new cooperation mechanisms.
For example, the issue of artificial intelligence (AI) has been tabled for discussion since the 40th executive board’s meeting and will be looked into during the 44th meeting.
Another item on the upcoming meeting is fake news, which has been mentioned for several recent meetings. At the 44th meeting, leaders of news agencies will look into measures and tools to verify information amid the prevalence of fake news at present, she said, adding that it was proposed by VNA and VNA Deputy General Director Lê Quốc Minh will chair a session on the issue.
Another session on strategies to adapt to the switch amongst media consumers to videos and YouTube clips will be also held.
Trang said with over 4 billion Internet users out of a 7.7 billion world population, the majority of the public now access information through the internet, and at the same time, they are also suppliers of news online so there will be a competition between news agencies and their traditional clients.
In order to win the race, news agencies need to maintain professionalism with timely coverage of correct and objective news verified by competent authorities, which is a difference between genuine press products and unverified information and personal opinions online.
Meanwhile, an innovative journalism will attract the public. News agencies, including VNA recently adopted technology to produce new media products such as long-form articles that combine text, photos, audio and video clips. — VNS