OANA member states tackle fake news as common enemy

OANA member states tackle fake news as common enemy

Delegates to the 44th Executive Board Meeting of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) take part in the Meeting of Managing Board after the event’s opening session in Hanoi on April 19. (VNA)

Hanoi (ANTARA) - Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) president highlighted fake news as a serious issue currently, as it largely impacts news agencies, but OANA member agencies exult in a long-standing history and experience, some almost century-old.

"Hence, until the time news agencies and the principles of journalism are existent, the society can feel safe, as despite fake news being rampant, we are able to fight back with accurate and reliable news," OANA President Aslan Aslanov stated during the 44th Executive Board Meeting of OANA in Hanoi, Friday.

Aslanov believes the high level of trust laid on OANA news agencies is owing to the firm and steady adherence to the principles of identification and fact-checking of news prior to them being published.

"Hence, OANA is truly a team of the most reliable news producers," he affirmed.

Furthermore, Aslanov drew focus to the rising dependence of news agencies on technology and the necessity to apply the latest innovations to win an audience and maintaining efficient flow of information among partner media organizations.

In the meantime, Vietnam News Agency Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh called on the need to revert to the core values of journalism and professionalism in order to get back the audience’s trust in mainstream news.

Minh highlighted the need for journalists to conduct careful verification of information, particularly in the face of rampant circulation of fake news, enhancing the quality of their products, boosting work ethics, and honing skills to employ novel technologies in the work process.

Lee Dong-min from the Yonhap News of the Republic of Korea pointed out that fake news had become a major issue in her country.

In a bid to tackle fake news, Yonhap News had established a fact-checking team in March 2018, primarily tasked with choosing three or four news weekly and conducting comprehensive fact-checking, particularly in case of statements made by influential people.

Dong-min believes fake news tend to become viral on social media partly owing to the lack of a reputed institution or media for verifying the information.

Hence, taking responsibility as a member of the media, news agencies should look for solutions to ensure timely flagging, checking, evaluation, and rectification of false news, she stated.

Kyodo News of Japan, according to Vietnam news agency, VNA, noted in its country report that to authenticate information being circulated on the web and tweaking for news coverage, the “D-Watch team” was set up in 2012 to monitor various websites and social media and update the News Centre on it.

Moreover, the D-Watch team conducts close monitoring of information on websites and social media in the face of a major accident or a serious natural calamity.

Kyodo News noted that in addition to monitoring information on websites and social media, the D-Watch team is currently applying an AI-assisted system termed “FASTALERT” for accruing information published by witnesses on social media.

In his address at the opening ceremony, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister, Vu Duc Dam, remarked that in recent years, on account of several forms of communication enabled by modern technologies in addition to swift and extensive circulation of faked news, OANA has served as a direct channel to furnish information to news organizations and partners to check facts to aid in boosting the public's trust in mainstream media.

OANA was established in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 22, 1961, as an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Currently, OANA brings together 44 news agencies from 35 countries, including ANTARA News Agency. OANA members are accountable for the circulation of two-thirds of the information worldwide.

The organization holds its triennial general assembly for the selection of an Executive Board, with 13 member news agencies.