KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – News agencies are still relevant against the backdrop of the rapid expansion of the new media, the 38th Organisation of Asia Pacific News Agencies (OANA) Executive Board Meeting heard yesterday.
OANA member agencies, in presenting their Country Reports, agreed that in an increasingly changing world, news agencies could not avoid the rise of new media but had to adopt it to stay relevant.
Irans’ IRNA bureau chief Rezapeyman Yagh-maei noted that the globalisation of media had vastly expanded the magnitude of information within an unrestricted sphere.
“However, news agencies will still be needed in the future as they provide comprehensive news compared with other information channels that emphasise on speed,” he said.
He agreed that the emergence of pseudonews agencies and the geographical extent of the coverage had proven to be a challenge.
Thus, Rezapeyman said, there was a need for traditional media to redefine their working procedures and transform into new media.
Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) general manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh, meanwhile, said the globalisation of media had changed the media landscape, and the position of conventional media that played a key role as the purveyor of news and information had been eroded.
He said although social media had boosted citizen journalism which was literally competing with mainstream journalism, the latter, including Bernama remained an important source of verified news and content.
“The one thing that Bernama has learned from the new media landscape in Malaysia is that it has to adopt social media in engaging with the tech-savvy younger generation,” he said.
Australian Associated Press (AAP) editor-in-chief Tony Gillies acknowledged that social media was a key driver in changes in the journalism field, noting that the use of media in his organisation had been inevitable.
Social media platforms, he said, were used to source for news and opinions and to test the pulse of the community over issues that arose.
However, he stressed the agency held its prin-ciples of independence, impartiality, accuracy and fairness close to its heart.
Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency head of inter-national relations department Ercan Gocer said social media provided a platform for news agencies to distribute and promote their content quickly around the world.
However, he said being fast news providers was not enough as it was also imperative for news agencies to be ethical and reliable while providing impartial news in a speedy manner.
“Acquiring technological advances in changing mass media should not deteriorate a journalist’s principles on preserving enduring values of journalism,” he said.