Azerbaijan hosts gatherings of influential international media organizations on Nov. 16-18 – the 5th News Agencies World Congress, the 16th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) and the 22nd session of the Council of CIS Heads of News Agencies.
Co-organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Azerbaijan’s state new agency AZERTAC, these events bring together heads and representatives of about 100 news agencies, which shape the global information policy, international media experts, UN - UNESCO official, and representatives of regional media organizations.
The joint opening ceremony of the News Agencies World Congress and the OANA General Assembly took place at the Heydar Aliyev Center on Nov. 16.
The slogan of the 5th News Agencies World Congress is “New Challenges for News Agencies”. The Congress features several sessions, including “The future of news consumption”, “News agencies – challenges and opportunities of new technologies and social media”, “News agency innovation”, “Training journalists for a multi-media future”, “Protecting the journalists’ mission: freedom, access, safety and conflict zones”. It also addresses problems facing journalism, which is now in experiencing rapid transformation, and forms of cooperation between news agencies and different social media platforms.
Speakers at the sessions include presidents of the News Agencies World Congress, OANA, EANA, FANA, managers of Associated Press, Reuters, Xinhua, Anadolu Agency, TASS, Agence France-Press, Press Association, EFE, Yonhap, Kyodo, TT, SPA, BTA, AAP, IRNA, DPA, Notimex, ATPE and other leading news agencies, Los Angeles Times newspaper, Al Arabiya television channel, and experts from Tripod Advisors, News Corp, PwC, Axel Springer, Stibo Accelerator media companies.
The Congress will see presentation of a photo album featuring nearly 600 photographs by the participating agencies in “News”, “Festivities” and “Sport” categories. The photo album was published through partnership between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Baku Media Center.
The Congress will see AZERTAC sign agreements on news and experience exchange with Spanish EFE, Paraguayan IP and Bahraini BNA news agencies. Participants of the event will also elect members of the executive bodies of the Congress and adopt Declaration.
AZERTAC will take on a three-year presidency (2016-2019) of the Congress at the event.
AZERTAC Director General Aslan Aslanov said that for the first time in the Congress` history UN and UNESCO chiefs addressed their messages to participants of this high-profile gathering of news agencies. “We will do our utmost to ensure that the News Agencies World Congress becomes more organized and grows into a powerful organization of news agencies. Some measures have already been taken to make organizational changes. At the last meeting of the Council, which is the executive body of the Congress, in Baku we instituted the positions of president and vice president of the Council. We are committed to continuing such reforms aimed at improving the activity of the organization,” said Aslan Aslanov.
He also said the 16th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies will be held in Baku on Nov. 18, bringing together more than 80 heads and representatives of 40 news agencies. “The event will see AZERTAC assume presidency of OANA for the next three years, during which the agency will be responsible for managing the website of the organization and other organizational issues. One of the key priorities of AZERTAC is to improve the activity of the organization in these three years of our presidency. This includes revitalizing the news exchange through OANA’s website, applying advanced technologies, and other issues. We will team up with all OANA member agencies to improve the organization’s activity to a qualitatively new level,” AZERTAC’s Director General added. The 16th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies will be held at JW Marriott Absheron Baku hotel on Nov. 18, bringing together about 80 heads and representatives of 40 news agencies. The event will see AZERTAC assume presidency of OANA for the next three years, during which the agency will be responsible for managing the website of the organization and other organizational issues.
The agenda of the 22nd session of the Council of CIS Heads of News Agencies encompasses a wide range of issues, including review of the organization’s activities in 2016, implementation of joint projects, and expansion of news exchange.
Initiated by the Russian TASS news agency, the 1st News Agencies World Congress was held in Moscow on Sept. 24-25, 2004. The three other congresses took place in Spain, Argentina and Saudi Arabia. The main body of the Congress is the Council. At the 4th Congress, which was hosted by Riyadh in 2013, Associated Press, Reuters, Press Association, SPA, TASS, EFE, Kuna, AZERTAC and TELAM agencies as well as secretaries general of EANA, OANA and FANA were elected as members of the Council. The Baku Congress will elect new members of the Council.
An initiative of UNESCO, the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies was founded in 1961 with the aim of expanding news exchange among regional news agencies. OANA’s members include 44 news agencies from 35 countries. Having joined OANA in 2004, AZERTAC has been elected a member of its Executive Board for three times. At the 15th General Assembly held in Moscow in 2013, AZERTAC was elected – by secret ballot – as president of the organization for 2016-2019.
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