International Forum of News Agencies to be set up for enhancing mutual cooperation

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APP03-14 ISLAMABAD: May 14 – Michail Psylos, Chief (President & CEO) Athens - Macedonian Press Agency addressing during 2nd day of International Conference of News Agencies (ICNA) as the delegates from various countries arriving to attend the event organized by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) under the theme, “Pakistan’s Media – Opportunities and Challenges” with special focus on ‘News Agencies – Emerging Professional Challenges.' APP photo by Irfan Mahmood

ISLAMABAD, May 14 (APP):The International Conference of News Agencies (ICNA) Monday resolved to establish an International Forum of News Agencies (IFNA) for enhancing mutual cooperation and evolving a strategy for better news dissemination in the cut-throat competition of modern age.
The recommendations were unanimously adopted by the participants, who agreed to establish IFNA for providing a platform to national news agencies. The unique platform would have the provision to welcome desiring national news agencies and even other media organizations that operate internationally in consultation with the founding members of the portal.
The two-day conference, held here from May 13 to 14, deliberated upon issues and challenges being faced by the national news agencies and media organizations. It was participated by 18 countries representing different regions, including the Middle East, Gulf, Africa, Europe, and South East Asia, and the host Pakistan.
As many as 21 delegates from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Tunisia participated in the conference.
The conference concluded with the following recommendations mutually agreed by the participating countries:
– The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) has been elected by the conference to lead the IFNA for this year and has volunteered to provide the secretariat and the human resource for the forum activities.
– The hosting of the IFNA Secretariat will rotate to another country each year as mutually decided by the member states. The host country will bear all the expenses of the secretariat for that particular year.
– The IFNA will create a web portal of its own for sharing text, photos and videos among the member news organizations. English will be the main language of communication.
– The conference decided to establish a five-member Coordination Committee for the operation of the platform. The Coordination Committee is responsible, in consultation with the Steering Committee, to evolve the strategy and formulate the way-forward for the portal. Its members include Iran, Greece, Pakistan, Sudan and Tunisia.
– The International Conference of News Agencies will be held annually on rotation as mutually decided by the committee.
– The delegates have agreed upon the need to have flexibility of operation of the newly established portal within the given framework/regulations of the respective national news agency and, or, the media organization.
– The committee can engage any member country and include new members and invite suggestions and recommendations from the members.
– This new platform also resolved to exchange news stories and features both text and visual on the portal.
– The platform will also share internal news of the member news agencies/news organizations. It can either be done through publishing a news bulletin or an icon within the portal’s home page.
– Capacity building will be done through regular training programme for both the journalist and non-journalist staff of the member organizations. Exchange visits of journalists on bilateral and multilateral basis has also been agreed upon.
– Improvement of the marketing/economic aspect of the member organizations will also be considered and consultations will be sought from professional organizations in this regard.
– Sharing of video and text surveys on various aspects, as recommended by Bulgaria, will be a welcoming part of the portal.
– A Best Photo, Text and Video Story of the quarter for every member organization and an overall selection for IFNA Award of the Year will be selected and awarded from within the member organizations.
– The conference paid homage to the Palestinian and other journalists, who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.