Vietnam News Agency – an active member of OANA
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) will host the 44th Meeting of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) Executive Board in Hanoi from April 18-20, under the theme “For a professional and innovative journalism”, with the participation of senior officials from 44 member news agency from 35 countries.
VNA’s hosting of the event affirms and promotes the role of the national news agency at the prestigious and effective regional multilateral press forum.
The OANA was established in Bangkok on December 22, 1961, as an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The association aims to strengthen and create favourable conditions for the direct and free popularisation and exchange of information among news agencies in the Asia-Pacific, a dynamic developing region home to over 50 percent of the global population.
At present, the OANA brings together 44 news agencies from 35 countries, including Xinhua (China), Kyodo (Japan), Yonhap (the Republic of Korea), ITAR-TASS (Russia), and Antara (Indonesia). The OANA members are responsible for two-thirds of information circulated throughout the world.
Every day, the OANA member news agencies publish around 200 news stories, photos, and video clips on the OANA website.
The OANA holds its Executive Board meeting annually under the host of one of its members on a rotary basis. The meeting provides a venue for leaders of news agencies to share experience, update each other on new journalism development trends in the world, and discuss measures to consolidate professional cooperation.
Since the VNA joined the OANA in 1969, it has become an active member of the association. The VNA has been elected as the OANA Executive Board member for two consecutive three-year tenures since 2013. Over the years, the news agency hosted meetings of OANA Executive Board in 1989, 1999, and 2005, positively contributing to the realisation of the organisation’s goals.
Enhancing cooperation efficiency among OANA member news agencies
From June 17-18, 1989, the agency organised the 10th OANA Executive Board Meeting, the 10th Technical Group Meeting, and the sixth Editorial Workshop. This was the first hosting of such meetings by the VNA.
Opening the 10th OANA Executive Board Meeting, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nguyen Khanh highlighted the important role of information and communication in relations between individuals and collectives in each country, as well as in the development of friendship and cooperation between countries.
The delegates adopted a review report of the meeting and an action programme for the OANA for 1990 in order to continue realising the targets of enhancing cooperation between regional news agencies, improving OANA news quality on the ANN in terms of both content and technology, expanding the exchange of photo news, training journalists and technicians, and pushing ahead with the computerisation of the information work of the news agencies, contributing to safeguarding peace, building stable friendship and cooperation for mutual development between countries in the region, and establishing international order in information and communication.
Its second hosting of the event was in 1999. The 20th OANA Executive Board Meeting in Hanoi on October 26-27, 1999, saw the participation of 29 delegates representing nine out of the 11 members of the OANA Executive Board.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem said the coming into being and existence of the OANA has signalled efforts by journalists to contribute to equal integration, cooperation and friendship between countries, for regional peace, friendship, security and development.
The Vietnamese Government highly values the support and endeavours of the OANA member agencies, he said.
Former VNA General Director Ho Tien Nghi said that the 20th OANA Executive Board Meeting took place in the context that members of the organisation were applying more drastic and effective measures to overcome challenges, especially cooperation solutions, ahead of the new millennium.
The delegates agreed on the need to reform the news agencies to raise their competiveness in the new context and improve the efficiency of collaboration between agencies, especially in professionalism and technical skills.
Making OANA a dynamic, creative organisation
The 27th OANA Executive Board Meeting and the 21st meeting of the Editorial and Technical Experts Group took place in Hanoi on October 3, 2005. This was the third time that the VNA had hosted the event.
Addressing the opening of the event, Deputy PM Pham Gia Khiem Khiem stressed the importance of information and of the OANA member news agencies. Khiem emphasised that information is a tool that serves the governance and management of each nation, expanding exchanges and increasing mutual understanding between countries, and a source of knowledge for the public and a resource for socio-economic development.
Participants agreed on the necessity of studying measures to spread information quickly to the public when natural disasters occur, while applying advanced technology to diversify services.
They also touched upon challenges posed by the mushrooming of websites and increasing number of internet users. Given that, news agencies need to maintain the speed, accuracy, and reliability of information.
The VNA’s third-time hosting of the OANA Executive Meeting means it has rich experience in preparing and engaging in the meeting’s agenda, according to former VNA General Director Le Quoc Trung. It is also able to give solutions for the enhancement of operational quality of the organisation in information, as well as proposals on how to post more news from the OANA members to the Internet and provide more reliable information, added Trung.
Trung held that the VNA’s role as the host of the OANA Executive Board demonstrates the trust of OANA members in the VNA. The organisation of the event also creates favourable conditions for experts of the OANA member news agencies to gain a better understanding of Vietnam and the VNA.
At the same time, the meeting gathers many major news agencies in the region, giving chances for the VNA to promote its position in the region, as well as spread news of Vietnam to the region and the word, he said.
Former VNA Deputy General Director Ha Minh Hue, who prepared the agenda for the 27th OANA Executive Board Meeting and the 21st meeting of the Editorial and Technical Experts Group, said that the annual event gives regional news agencies an opportunity to discuss various issues, especially amidst the rise of the globalisation and the spreading of the Internet. At this meeting, Vietnam proposed the theme of “Strengthening the vitality and creativity of OANA in the globalisation era”.
With the outcomes of this and previous meetings, news agencies agreed to post news to the OANA website everyday, and sought ways to make the news of regional countries full, accurate, and official.
With its role as a “state news bank”, the VNA performs its function as the state news agency and provides official and mainstream news for news outlets at home and abroad via 15 news departments of domestic and foreign services.
Boasting a network of 63 bureaus in all the cities and provinces nationwide and 30 overseas bureaus across the five continents, the VNA has a strong contingent of reporters and editors working all over the country and in most of the key locations around the world, which creates a unique advantage for it.
With more than 60 media products by more than 1,300 reporters and editors out of its 2,500-strong staff, the VNA is now the media office with the largest number of products and formats in the country: bulletins, photos, television programmes, dailies, weeklies, monthlies, magazines, pictorials, books, TV channel, e-newspapers, and information programmes on mobile platforms and social media.
The agency also delivers news in the largest number of languages. In addition to the official Vietnamese-language news provided for domestic and foreign media outlets, stories for foreign services are written in English, Chinese, French, and Spanish; not to mention print and e-newspapers in Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, English, French, and Spanish.
The VNA has bilateral and multilateral partnership with more than 40 international news agencies and press organisations around the world, and is a member of the OANA.
The agency’s official news is widely published on the communication channels of its partners, contributing to improving the effectiveness of disseminating Vietnam’s external information to international friends.
Throughout the over seven decades of fighting, construction, and development closely associated with the country’s historical milestones, the VNA is the first press agency of Vietnam to be awarded the titles “Labour Hero in the renewal period” and “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces”. Additionally, it has also been honoured twice with the Gold Star Order, Ho Chi Minh Order, and first-class Independence Order, along with many other distinctions. –VNA