The Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies Executive Board convened its 44th meeting in Hanoi on April 19. The event, hosted by the Vietnam News Agency, was themed “For a professional and innovative journalism”.

In his opening speech, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi, who is also a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, said that in the last five decades since it became an OANA member in 1969, the VNA has been an active member of the organisation and made various contributions to activities enhancing the development of journalism in the Asia-Pacific.

“The hosting of the 44th OANA Executive Board Meeting once again affirms the role and voice of the state news agency of Vietnam in this multilateral press forum, the largest of its kind in the region,” he said.

He affirmed that: “The function of news agencies is providing source information for press organisations and other partners. The OANA member news agencies have transformed themselves to perform the role of not only providing information but also verifying information to fulfil their mission of bringing accurate and humane information to press agencies and readers.”

The VNA General Director expressed his belief that the meeting will create an opportunity for participants to exchange and share experience to build a healthy press environment, meeting the public’s right of access to information.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, member of the Party Central Committe, said in recent years, in the wake of numerous forms of communications based on modern technologies as well as fast and widespread of faked news, the OANA not only serves as a direct channel to provide information to news organisations and partners but also serves as a fact checker o help bolster the trust of the public in traditional press.

Dam stressed that since the reform era, Vietnam has made milestones in its development effort, which have been recognized and appreciated by the international community.

Hosted by the Vietnam News Agency, the meeting focuses on three main contents, including strategies of news agencies in response to changes in information use behaviours which focus on video clips and the YouToube platform; fake news and fact-checking; and regaining trust for mainstream news.

This year’s event saw the attendance of about 40 international delegates who are leaders and representatives of the Executive Board’s member news agencies and invited OANA members.

At the closing ceremony, the Executive Board announced the OANA Award for Excellence in News Agency Quality, which is designed to further experience exchange between OANA members and to improve the quality of making news.

Accordingly, the Vietnam News Agency and Xinhua News Agency (China) shared first prize for Chatbot app on e-newspaper VietnamPlus and AI Media Brain project, respectively.

TASS news agency of Russia won second prize with Astronauts database project and the Azertac State News Agency of Azerbaijan secured third prize for its knowledge portal for children Portal.azertag.az.

Vietnam News Agency and the Emirates News Agency of the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation, under which both sides will establish professional cooperative relations, aiming to provide the public in their respective countries with information on the political, social, economic and cultural life in the other country.

The meeting wrapped up in Hanoi on April 19 afternoon.-VNA