Speakers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were brought together at a panel discussion on ASEAN issues held in Singapore on July 25.

Participants at the discussion “Telling the ASEAN Story” voiced their opinions on the correlation between ASEAN communications circles and regional development issues.

They shared experience in gaining access to and reporting on ASEAN-related events in order to satisfy the demand for information, especially at a time when an ASEAN community is expected to set up in 2015.

They were told that the 10-nation group’s press focuses mostly on economic and political events rather than delve into regional development concerns that might have certain impacts on the local people.

The panellists shared the idea that not many newspapers pay special attention to plans on building the ASEAN Community, cross-border challenges and responsibilities to deal with these challenges.

They also deemed it necessary to realise that the nature of multi-language and the polyhedron of communications between ASEAN member countries are affecting the provision of information on ASEAN development issues.

They spared time arguing a number of measures to help young regional journalists further attract public interest in the field.

On the occasion, the organising board launched the book “Reporting Development in ASEAN”, a compilation of think pieces and articles published by journalists and writers from the region published by IPS Asia-Pacific.

As part of a programme supported by the International Development Research Centre of Canada in 2011-2012, the book aims to specify the link between ASEAN policies and regional development issues.

ASEAN groups Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam.