Balkans | The Association of News Agencies of the Balkans and Southeast Europe meets in Greece

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Balkans |  The Association of News Agencies of the Balkans and Southeast Europe meets in Greece

At the European Union General Assembly of News Agencies in the Balkans and Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) held in Thessaloniki, Greece, the presidency for the 2024 term was registered for Anadolu Agency (AA).

Mr. Serdar Karagoz, Chairman and General Manager of Anadolu Agency, represented the General Assembly meeting hosted by the Hellenic News Agency (AMNA).

ABNA-SE’s 2023 projects were scheduled within the framework of the decisions taken at the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy General Manager and Editor-in-Chief Youssef Ozan.

ABNA-SE is expanded

At the General Assembly, the membership application submitted by the Italian news agency ANSA to ABNA-SE was unanimously accepted.

It was decided to hold AA, AMNA, the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) and the Kosovo News Agency (KosovaPress) on the board of directors of ABNA-SE.

The 2024 AA Presidency, which was elected as President for the 2024 term at the 2022 General Assembly, where ABNA-SE became its founding legal entity with its new charter, is registered at the General Assembly in Thessaloniki.

On the proposal of Karagöz, it was unanimously decided to hold the ABNA-SE 2024 General Assembly in Istanbul.

At the end of the meeting, Karagöz thanked ABNA-SE for the solidarity they showed to Turkey after the earthquake disaster on February 6.

AMNA Chairman and General Manager Emilios Perdikaris presented a book entitled “Ottoman Architecture in Greece” to Karagöz on behalf of AA, who will be Chairman of the Board for the next term.

Karagöz also presented Perdikaris with a “camera statue made from recycled car parts with the aim of eliminating waste”.

Collaborate to fight misinformation

Speaking to AA, Perdikaris stated that the work in Thessaloniki was fruitful and that issues such as the fight against disinformation, the European perspective on the Western Balkans and the creation of a bridge of cooperation between ABNA-SE member states were discussed.

Perdicaris pointed out that the number of news today has increased through social media, but the problem of news quality has surfaced, and he indicated that this problem can only be combated through bridges of cooperation that unite peoples and agencies in the region.

Perdicaris affirmed that news agencies have a duty of reality and subjectivity, and stated that they are working to achieve this through the union and through bilateral cooperation between the members of the union.

Perdikaris stated that within the framework of the negotiations in Thessaloniki, it was decided to form a responsible team that would act as a “confirmation line” in each agency, where the accuracy of the information received was verified, and that they were working on projects to confirm the news.

Stressing that cooperation between news agencies in the Balkans and Southeast Europe is of particular importance, Perdicaris said, “Through this cooperation, we can reduce the distance between the different points of view of peoples. Because, in fact, no one has a problem with their neighbors or neighboring countries. May There may be some conflicting perceptions, but at the end of the day, the important thing is collaboration through these institutions.” He said.

Perdicaris said: “One of the main elements of our federation is to unite forces, to build bridges between peoples and countries represented by the agencies, to enable them to talk at one table and solve all possible problems. Therefore, I am very happy.” He said.

Noting that they are working on joint projects for the union, Perdicaris also mentioned that they are planning joint training programs for journalists on topics such as digital skills and security.

“The cooperation between our agencies will also be very beneficial for the people of the region.”

The Director General of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), Kirill Valchev, stated that the member agencies decided to deepen all kinds of cooperation between them and take more realistic and effective measures, especially in the field of combating disinformation.

Pointing out that ABNA-SE has already existed for 30 years, but has continued to exist as a “club of close friends”, Walchev stressed that the current corporate structure is important for increasing cooperation between members.

Valchev stressed that this corporate structure will enable ABNA-SE to benefit from EU funds.

Expressing that the official Moldovan news agency (Moldpress) has also applied for ABNA-SE membership, Valchev said he believes that this application will also lead to a positive result in the near future.

Walchef continued his words as follows:

The cooperation between our agencies will also be very beneficial to the people of the region. Naturally, it is the member agencies of this consortium who know the countries they represent most deeply and accurately. It is important that our staff can learn about what is happening in other countries in the region through ABNA-SE member agencies rather than external news sources.”

Valchev stressed that it is important for all member agencies to use and share the news that is produced in news agencies that are members of the federation, and indicated that it was decided at the General Assembly meeting in Thessaloniki to establish licensed units for that.


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