Jakarta (ANTARA) - ASEAN Newsroom, a concept initiated by the ANTARA News Agency, could be the "embryo" for the formation of media associations in the Southeast Asia region, LKBN ANTARA President Director Akhmad Munir stated.

Munir made the statement at the inauguration of the ASEAN Newsroom Corner by Minister of Communication and Informatics Budi Arie Setiadi on the sidelines of a series of activities at the 43rd ASEAN Summit at the JCC Media Center, Jakarta, on Monday (September 4).

ASEAN Newsroom is an idea and effort to encourage the re-creation of cooperation among news agencies of ASEAN member countries amid the increasing need for accurate and credible information.

ANTARA News Agency, with full support from the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is committed to reviving the spirit of cooperation between ASEAN news agencies as earlier carried out through the ASEAN News Exchange (ANEX) cooperation network.

One concrete form of ANTARA's support for the formation of the ASEAN Newsroom is by providing a space specifically dedicated to the ASEAN Newsroom Corner.

"I stand before you today with an extraordinary sense of pride and joy, as we gather to inaugurate the ASEAN Newsroom Corner—a space dedicated by Antara to encourage dialogue, understanding, and collaboration between news agencies and various media from countries in Southeast Asia," Munir affirmed.

According to the president director of ANTARA, the inauguration of the ASEAN Newsroom Corner is not just the inauguration of a special location but rather "a step of courage that is proof of our shared commitment to collaboration as well as hope for the future of media collaboration, especially in the Southeast Asia region."

"ANTARA, as the oldest media in Indonesia, has a long history where its representative offices throughout Indonesia have become gathering places for local journalists. Even the Pasar Baru Building, which is our head office, has become the center of the journalistic photography community," he remarked.

"This time, we aim to expand this tradition to the Southeast Asian region by providing a space specifically dedicated to all journalists in Southeast Asia who work in Indonesia," he remarked.

The ASEAN Newsroom Corner, a room that will be located at the ANTARA News Agency head office in the Journalism and Multimedia Complex, Pasar Baru, Jakarta, will be designated as a "meeting point" for Southeast Asian journalists working in Indonesia.

Consisting of three buildings, namely Graha ANTARA, Griya ANETA, and the ANEX Building, the complex, which is expected to become a gathering center for journalists and the arts, is designed to have an open area called Taman Langit ANTARA.

The existence of the ASEAN Newsroom can be a starting point for strengthening not only relations between news agencies in the ASEAN region but also various media from ASEAN member countries that is expected to contribute to efforts to enrich regional perspectives and awareness in reporting various important events in the ASEAN region.

"This place exists to work and exchange ideas, transcending borders and language barriers to foster unity and understanding between our culturally diverse nations and countries," Munir stated.

According to Munir, the main mission of establishing the ASEAN Newsroom is to bridge the gaps that exist between ASEAN countries, clarify the challenges to achieving success in the ASEAN community, and foster a sense of mutual belonging among ASEAN citizens.

In the long term, the ASEAN Newsroom Corner has the potential to become a newsroom with ASEAN that can be developed as an ASEAN data bank that can also be utilized by various parties outside the ASEAN region.

"We realize that in this interconnected world, the stories we tell and the narratives we shape have the power not only to shape public opinion but also to weave the course of history," he noted.

“The ASEAN Newsroom is a promise. A promise for the people in our region," he stated.

In June 1980, the Indonesian News Agency ANTARA, the Malaysian Bernama News Agency, and the Philippine News Agency PNA had agreed to form a network of cooperation called ASEAN News Exchange (ANEX) that would become the main source of news about major events in the Southeast Asian region for the print and electronic media in ASEAN countries.

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Translator: Yuni A, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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