ANSA meets Arab agencies for 'stronger cooperation'

New dialogue on common challenges facing journalism

27 June, 11:49

    ROME - Representatives of ANSA and the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA) on Thursday agreed to deepen relations and dialogue on major problems, common challenges and the new frontiers of journalism and technology at a meeting at ANSA headquarters in Rome.

    ANSA CEO and General Manager Giuseppe Cerbone spoke of the strategic value of international relations for the news agency and chronicled its national and international development in terms of content and technology, including the project to create a new service in Chinese. "Dialogue on matters of information is strategic", as is that on an economic and political level, and "the agencies play an essential role", ANSA editor-in-chief Luigi Contu said. The issue of terrorism was also discussed.

    The representatives of the Arab agencies said that many European and western media outlets continue "to associate terrorism with Islam, despite the fact that terrorism has nothing to do with religion and Arab and Islamic states have condemned it unequivocally on several occasions. "Effort is needed to end this incorrect association, starting from the news agencies as being among the most authoritative media," they said. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Kuwait agency KUNA - whose general director Sheikh Moubarak Duaij Al-Ibrahim al-Sabah is also director of FANA - UAE's WAM, Oman's ONA, Egypt's MENA and Lebanon's NNA. ANSA's Nabila Zayati, who is in charge of relations with Mediterranean countries and the Gulf, also attended the meeting.

    Participants also agreed on the need for discussion with the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) on issues of common interest.

    These include terrorism, coverage of which the Arab agencies said requires a more appropriate use of terminology, for example by always qualifying names such as ISIS or Islamic State with the words 'terrorist group'. However, attention must also be given to how to prevent these groups from exploiting the media for their own propaganda purposes.

    Another issue of common concern is the spread of 'fake news' on social networks. The solution to this problem is to remain faithful to the tenets of producing quality news, based on the use of reliable sources and fact checking, ANSA deputy editor-in-chief Stefano Polli said. 

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