Representatives of 15 news titles in Asia stressed the need to elevate cooperation to a new level and make Asia’s voice heard at Asia News Network’s annual board meeting in Beijing Monday.
The meeting marks the first face-to-face meeting of Asia’s leading regional press alliance since the Covid-19 pandemic, building new bridges for collaborative efforts between Asian countries and between Asia and the rest of the world.
Representatives explored the possibility of creating an independent newsroom staffed by reputable professionals to make ANN an independent source of information for all its members and for regional and global media in general.
The ANN was established in 1999 and its members hail from 20 Southeast Asian countries as well as several other places in Asia. It becomes a formal legal entity. China Daily has been a member since 2000.
Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said in his welcome speech that the purpose of the meeting is to deepen ANN cooperation, improve ANN story exchanges, to co-produce impactful videos and to organize enriching workshops and forums. “These initiatives not only strengthen our ties, but also amplify our voices to resonate across Asia, and even the world,” he noted.
He recalled that Asian media face common challenges. “We face the daunting task of not only reporting the news, but also interpreting it in a way that is relevant, respectful and resonates with our diverse audiences. »
But challenges also drive us to innovate, adapt and grow, he says.
“We need to understand and know each other better in our own region and, in particular, share our problems and opportunities with each other. We also need to let the world know about creativity and innovation, and above all our collective intellectual and cultural heritage that exists in Asia,” said Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star.
Anam, who is also the current president of the ANN, underlined that Asian countries being a very important actor on the international scene, the Asian media must take advantage of the opportunity of the alliance of the 22 main English dailies to report the history of Asia to the world.
In its latest edition of the Asia-Pacific Regional Economic Outlook, released in May, the International Monetary Fund projected that Asia would contribute almost 70% to global growth in 2023, and that growth in the region is expected to slow down. accelerate to 4.6% this year, from 3.8%. percent last year. In particular, China and India together are expected to generate around half of global growth this year.
The challenge now is to transform this network into an effective and independent information service for its members and for the Asian market as a whole, he said. He urged all participating members to make ANN a more effective media collaboration network.
As for how to enrich ANN’s content, Zaffar Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Pakistan’s Dawn Media Group, suggests that the ANN platform should offer a wider range of opinions, editorials, exclusive reports and of human interest stories, with news playing a secondary role.
He noted that international readers are interested in reporting and opinions from Asian countries, where ANN can excel in production. To attract an audience beyond its member regions, Abbas believes that the ANN should create original content that is free from bias.
In addition, ANN delegates also attended a captivating cultural heritage exhibition held at the headquarters of China Daily in Beijing. The event featured fascinating on-site tea art performances, exquisite handicrafts from various ethnic minorities, and tea and coffee from Pu’er, Yunnan, the birthplace of one of the Pu’er teas. most famous fermented in the world.
They will participate in the Cultural Heritage Conservation Forum and make field visits to local businesses over the next two days.
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