General Director of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Nguyen Duc Loi has highlighted the future of social media as well as opportunities and challenges it generates to news agencies during the 38th meeting of the Executive Board of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agency (OANA) in Kuala Lumpur on February 14.

The VNA leader asserted that social media is booming with the increasing number of users thanks to the growth of advanced media means.

It has become an important channel connecting the government and people, as well as enterprises and their customers, and news agencies and their readers, he stated, noting that the number of social networking users in Asia-Pacific is higher than any other regions.

VNA has made social media as a channel to promote its news products and services, as well as a source of information, which has proved efficiency, he said.

In the coming time, VNA plans to build a highly-interactive working software having close links with social networks, he revealed.

In his speech at the event, Sergey Mikhaylov, OANA President and President of Russia’s TASS news agency, stated that the honesty and reliability of media agencies is a value highly appreciated in all countries and all time.

He added that over the past 50 years, OANA has made significant contributions to boosting collaboration among news agencies in the Asia-Pacific region in dealing with a great number of cultural and social issues.

At the same time, he also pointed out new challenges facing news agencies in the context of growing new technologies, stressing the need for them to work closely together to cope with the challenges.

Meanwhile, Zulkefli Salleh, President of Bernama, the Malaysia’s national news agency, said today, everyone could become a reporter with their smartphone, however, a genuine journalist should be those who strictly uphold the principle of being fast, fair and accurate.

He also stressed the need to effectively use social media means, including Facebook and Twitter, to spread news quickly.

Nearly 40 delegates representing 14 news agencies that are members of the OANA Executive Board at the event also approved a number of documents, including the minutes of the previous meeting in Bahrain, a financial report and an ethics statement and norms for OANA members.

They agreed to organise the next event in November in Seoul, the Republic of Korea.

Regarding VNA’s contributions to the event, General Director Nguyen Duc Loi said agency proposed a number of ideas to enhance cooperation among OANA members, including the formation of an internal forum for its members to share information and experience.

VNA also suggested the upgrade of OANA’s website to ensure easy access for its members, as well as the promotion of the website in social networking, he said.

The same day, leaders of VNA and Bernama signed an agreement of cooperation in information exchange, which allows both sides to increase exchange of English news and photos, delegations and boost mutual support.

According to Bernama President Zulkefli Salleh, the deal will pave the way for the growing partnership between the two sides, contributing to furthering the ties between Malaysia and Vietnam, while strengthening mutual understanding between the two peoples.-VNA