AMAN NEWSLETTER 2011
1. AMAN FUC Meeting in Paris
The Follow-Up Committee (FUC) of AMAN held a meeting at the headquarters of AFP, in Paris, on Thursday, 28 April 2011, at the invitation of AMAN President, AFP President Mr. Emmanuel Hoog to prepare the 20th General Assembly of AMAN which will take place in Tangier, Morocco.
Taking part were:
v AFP – AMAN President
Mr. Jean-Pierre Gallois, Director for Middle East based in Nicosia, Cyprus
v APS – AMAN First Vice-President
Mr. Kacha Abdelhamid, Director General
Mr. Youcef Herkat, Director of Cooperation & Training
v MAP – Second Vice President of AMAN
Mr. Mohamed Anis, Acting Director General
Mr. Abdallah Mchanna, Journalist at the Dpt of External Relations
v CNA - AMAN Secretary General
Mr. George Penintaex, Acting Director/Editor-in-Chief
Mrs Marianna Mela Vourgos, Secretary to the S.G. AMAN
Mr. Hoog welcomed the participants at the AFP headquarters wished them a pleasant stay in Paris and every success in their tasks.
Mr. Penintaex read out his report on activities since the 19th General Assembly held in Marseille and the financial report.
The FUC members authorised the Secretary General to send letters to member-agencies, inviting them to settle their membership fees, according to AMAN’s Statutes before the next General Assembly, to avoid embarrassment.
The Secretary General presented a report on behalf of Mr. Roger Semaan of NNA, who acts as AMAN webmaster, on the 2010-2011 AMAN website traffic and contributions by member-agencies to the Mednews bulletin.
Mr. Penintaex informed the FUC members that Mr. Semaan is working on the new AMAN website which will be presented by him at the 20th General Assembly in Morocco.
The FUC members agreed that all member-agencies should name one coordinator at each agency to handle AMAN matters. This step would contribute to the smooth functioning of AMAN.
Mr. Gallois informed the FUC members that AFP intends to organise a seminar later this year to be addressed to journalists. AMAN journalists will be invited. The seminar will be under the umbrella of the AFP Foundation.
Mr. Anis asked the FUC members to approach international organisations, such as UNESCO and EU, in cooperation with the AFP Foundation, to finance seminars and workshops for AMAN journalists.
The representatives at the FUC meeting of AFP, APS, MAP and CNA decided to award the prizes for the Best News Item and the Best Photo. The names of the winners will be announced in Tangier.
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2. 20th General Assembly and Seminar
The 20th General Assembly and seminar will be held between 26 - 29 June 2011, in Tangier:
26 June 2011 - Arrivals
27 June 2011 - Seminar
28 June 2011 - General Assembly
29 June 2011 - Departures
The FUC accepted a suggestion by MAP that the topic of the seminar in Tangier will be “The Mediterranean Dimension of Tangier Med Port”.
The delegates will stay at:
Tel: +212 539 32 9300
Fax: +212 539 32 9332
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3. 20th General Assembly – draft agenda
The Draft Agenda of the 20th General Assembly is as follows:
v Establishing of the quorum.
v Approval of the Agenda.
v Report by the outgoing President of AMAN (AFP) and handover to the new President (MAP).
v Report by the Secretary General on the activities and financial situation of AMAN since the previous General Assembly.
v Proposals on future training seminars/workshops.
v Reports by the AMAN webmaster on the AMAN website traffic and Mednews bulletin.
v Creation of a new AMAN website.
v 21st General Assembly.
v Composition of the new Follow-Up Committee.
v 2010-2011 Competitions for the Best News Item and Best Photo. Award giving ceremony.
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4. Contributions by AMAN Member Agencies and Observers
Anadolu Agency, established on April 6, 1920 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, is the biggest news agency of Turkey and one of the prominent wire services of the world.
With its more than 40 offices within the country and 26 bureaus abroad, AA instantly informs its subscribers about the developments in Turkey and in the world with around 700-800 news stories and around 200 photographs daily.
AA's news stories cover a large spectrum from politics to health, parliament news to economy, culture and arts to sports, and science & technology to education.
In its early years, AA's main task was to cover the War of Liberation and inform the domestic and international public about the nation's struggle to freedom. In the following years the agency became the leading source of information about Turkey and a hallmark of fast, impartial and accurate news.
In the digital age, developing and flourishing media outlets have increased the demand for more news, pictures and video. Anadolu Agency has positioned itself to meet all the demands of not just of its traditional media customers but also new clients from mobile phone operators, businesses, advertising agencies.
As well as its extensive coverage of events in Turkey with regional and provincial bureaus across the country AA is also covering global events with reporters, photographers and cameraman stationed in 36 countries.
AA Picture Service has gained a respected place in Turkish and foreign media with its quality and timely photographs. Taken by experienced AA photo journalists in Turkey and abroad, we run over 600 pictures daily on a wide range of topics. We cooperate with leading photo agencies of the world such as EPA, SIPA, ABACA and others. We also offer access to our vast photo archive, searchable over the internet according to subject, date and content.
In a short span of time since the start of video service, AA has made an impact by offering better quality news footage. On top its SD service, AA has started in 2010 offering video feeds in High Definition (HD) format. In its news gathering AA widely uses the internet infrastructure and disseminates video clips in digital format (mpeg2 and mpeg4) over its satellite transmitter as well as internet. We offer over 100 news clips on average daily. In addition, AA offers live coverage of events through its satellite news gathering (SNG) trucks and dedicated staff.
Dailies, weeklies and montly magazines, tv and radio channels, advertising agencies, public relations companies, web sites and official and private instutions are among AA's clients. Individuals can also buy services from AA.
AA is an active participant in many regional alliances of news agencies. AA assumed the presidency of Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) for three years on November,2010. AA also cooperates with leading inteernational and national wire services of the world in exchange of news, pictures and video.
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AFP appoints new Managing Director
Rémi Tomaszewski, 53, has been appointed new Managing Director of AFP succeeding Jean-Pierre Vignolle, 65, who after eleven years with the agency is stepping down on January 15. Mr Tomaszewski is currently General Secretary of the French public service TV channel Public Sénat.
He has since 2000 been closely involved in setting up and developing the channel and in overseeing the strategy and means required for its influence and independence. He worked for the founding chairman, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach and the current CEO, Gilles Leclerc, AFP reports.
Mr Vignolle was appointed Commercial Marketing and Development Director in 1999 and has served as Managing Director since early 2006.
AFP is one of the world's three biggest news agencies delivering fast, accurate, in-depth news from every corner of the world, covering wars and conflicts to politics, sport and entertainment, as well as the major developments in health, science and technology.
With 2,900 journalists of 80 different nationalities, AFP sends the news in video, text, photographs, graphics and a pre-packaged multimedia format to a broad range of clients: newspapers, national news wires, radio and television stations.
AFP uses its global presence to report the news from the ground in six languages, French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and German. Reporting from AFP bureaus in 165 countries is coordinated in five main editorial centres - Washington, Montevideo, Paris, Nicosia and Hong Kong. Thanks to its network of local correspondents and synergies with partners around the world, AFP bears witness to events in real time to provide global coverage for all the major national and international media.
THE TEXT SERVICE, heart of the Agency’s know-how
AFP sends 5,000 text stories every day in six languages - English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Arabic. The agency provides analysis, regional and world round-ups, angled stories, and documentary tools to deepen understanding of the news. All information is rigorously checked and verified.
AFP-Direct: personalised access via Internet to international news content in real time as well as an archived text data base.
Award winning photographers deliver up to 3,000 images a day as the news breaks, from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the catwalks of Milan and Paris.
ImageForum: AFP produces 5,000 new photos a day together with 26 partners to enrich its database, and up to 12 new graphics a day. AFP's user-friendly online platform ImageForum has an archive of 14 million photos, updated live as the news breaks.
THE VIDEO SERVICE, the world in high definition, in 7 languages
The video service has more than 90 video production journalists around the world producing 1,000 new videos a month in seven languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Polish. AFP is the first global news agency to produce its video reports in high-definition format.
VideoForum: provides downloads of AFP output for television stations, websites, mobiles and production companies. VideoForum.afp.com enables clients to access all the video output of AFP and its partners. The Agency provides up to 25 fresh animated graphics on the site every month.
GRAPHICS, viewing news differently
AFP produces around 100 still and interactive graphics a day in six languages, providing a deeper understanding of different aspects of the news. As well as fixed graphics, AFP offers animated and video graphics to provide fresh perspective on the news with maps, charts and statistical information. These products are publishable in web and mobile-ready format.
MULTIMEDIA, for web and mobile
AFP offers a broad range of online services, from integrated Internet-ready news feed to live online coverage of major sporting events. World news is pre-packaged with text, photo, video and graphics, and delivered to websites, mobile telephones and public screens. Available in seven languages.
1835: creation of the Havas Agency, the world's first international news agency.
20 août 1944: a group of journalists take over the French Information Office and begin producing news as Agence France-Presse.
10 janvier 1957: the French parliament adopts the AFP statute, guaranteeing the Agency's editorial independence and financial autonomy.
1984: the Agency's audio service is created.
1985: the international photo service is set up.
1988: the Graphics service is set up.
1996: the first Internet Journal is produced in French.
1998: creation of the digital photo databank, ImageForum.
2007: launch of the AFPTV service and its VideoForum platform.
2008: launch of a range of services for mobiles.
2009: creation of the Multimedia platform.
2010: AFP becomes the first international news agency to provide videos in HD format.
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Le Gouvernement mauritanien a nommé, le 10 féfrier 2011, Monsieur Yarba OULD SGHAIR, Directeur Général de l’Agence Mauritanienne d’Information(AMI).
Voici des éléments biographiques du nouveau Directeur de l’AMI :
Monsieur Yarba OULD SGHAIR est né le 31/12/1963 à Tidjikja en Mauritanie.
Il est professeur de lettres, consultant en communication et a occupé plusieurs fonctions dans le domaine de la communication, notamment celles de Directeur de la presse électronique et Conseiller technique du Ministre de la Communication, chargé des Relations Extérieures et de la Presse écrite .
Après des études primaires, secondaires et supérieures en Mauritanien notamment à l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Nouakchott, il a suivi des études à l’Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Sénégal). Ces différentes études ont été sanctionnées notamment par:
un D.E.A. (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies) en littérature et un C.AP.E.S. (Certificat d’Aptitude au Professorat de l’Enseignement Secondaire).
Il a contribué à plusieurs études et consultations dans le domaine de la communication, il est traducteur et auteur de nombreux articles de presse dans des journaux.
Il parle et écrit l’Arabe et le Français excellemment et l’Anglais moyennement.
Monsieur Yarba OULD SGHAIR est titulaire de la Médaille de la Reconnaissance Nationale et Lauréat de Prix du Meilleur article sur la Culture mauritanienne (Concours organisé par le Ministère de l’information).
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APS – New Director General
Mr Abdelhamid Kacha was appointed Director General in December 2010. He began his career at Algerian News agency. He had to deal with many items and topics regarding mainly economic and political sections. He was in charge of departement news in 1990 and General Manager in 1991. After that,
Mr Kacha moved to the Ministry of communication as a head of cabinet. Coming back to APS in 1994 , he was appointed as correspondent of the agency in Dakar before moving to Rabat and finally Brussels.
His main tasks are:
-Professionalizing and modernizing agency work
-Respect of ethics as well as public services missions dedicated to the agency
- Set up an efficient policy of training to capitalize human resources.
APS and e-journalism
While information technologies progress too rapidly, challenge for any media body, in particular news Agencies, the major issue is to adapt rapidly to this globalised media landscape when ordinary consumers have no time for “storytelling” but need “flash,” “short stories,” which mean concise and real time information.
The challenge for Algerian producers is also to place on the cyber space a product which is authentic, “homemade,” free from the globalised aspect of information about any event, often mixed on purpose such as the coverage of two Gulf Wars or that of the events shaking currently the Arab world.
With this double-challenge, the national agency APS embarked since early 2000s on a vast operation to modernize its intervention means in media, through the creation of multimedia platform and true desks assigned, each in its work area, to produce services adapted to the new demands of its subscribers.
The Agency development strategy, prior to the information chain as “wholesaler” is in fact gauged, while remaining very attached to its initial mission which consists in informing and proposing to its users the most complete, diversified and accurate information by using all the possibilities and facilities provided by the ever evolving new information and communication technologies.
In this marketing-oriented strategy, APS multimedia platform has been operational for long years with its inter-dependent units composed of Nepras for the editorial department, Picasso for photo’s, DocWorks for documentation offices, WebCrawler for internet section, and statistics and marketing.
Firstly, Nepras is a wide network connecting all editorial offices, either in the Headquarters or in the Offices in provinces or in some world capitals. It allows greater fluidity and rapidity in the management of information since production to publication.
Multimedia sections are endowed with intranet which contains previsions or agenda, chronology of events in Algeria since 1962, biographies, internal website, directory of Algerian sites, article and photo databases in the three current languages; Arabic, French and English since 16 April 2001.
For press photo, the chain of collection, treatment, and publication of photos is entrusted with several inter-dependent sections composed of photographers and graphic designers. They are in charge of retouching, cropping, legending and onlining plus realizing graphic arts products. The photo laboratory develops, scans and prints these products. Finally the filing and storage section manages the digital databases resulting from the other two sections.
The Agency sells its photos through its photo site which offers the possibility for clients to download the day’s products or those stored.
For the website, www.aps.dz, created in November 1996, APS uses its own server. The exclusively “homemade products” site puts online various national and international events, drawn from the Agency’s general wire, illustrated with photo news.
The site offers also a portal on “APS online” for subscribers, as well as various peripheral products like currency rates, Algeria football championships results and links to the Algerian newspapers.
The big change
One of the particularities of the Agency development strategy, to be in tune with the current and future media landscape, is merging the former Multimedia Department with the Information Department. This organizational adjustment is of paramount of importance as it ensures a smooth and progressive shift toward multimedia journalism APS needs to satisfy the constantly growing demands of its clients.
In this perspective, the current Website will be very soon, not only “relooked” but also upgraded by the introduction of all the multimedia fundamentals including interactive articles and items filled with hyperlinks, photo news, static and animated graphics, and definitely video.
The Agency ambitions to update with recent technologies by proposing a wide range of services like free-choice news, items on cellular telephone (WAP, SMS, E-mail and MOB.APS).
The Digital Literacy
The future challenge is to further consolidate multimedia editing. Though there is already a professional team, the planned shift to multimedia journalism poses the problem of training in specialized institutes which offer methods and curriculums in line with “such amazing progress.”
In fact, the digital literacy is a “behavior” by which the journalist must evolve in the same milieu as his readers, listeners, viewers and thus, go to the same virtual places, use the same services which develop new habits.”
APS is taking up the challenge.
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CNA – New Chairman
The Cyprus Council of Ministers appointed on 13 May 2011 Mr. Larkos Larkou as new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), succeeding Mr. Costakis Constantinou, who had resigned.
Mr. Larkou was born in 1953. He is a graduate of the University of Athens' Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. He worked for many years as Professor in Philosophy.
He is the author of two books. He has published articles and studies in various Cypriot newspapers. Mr. Larkou was Editor in Chief of the Cypriot daily newspaper ''Proina Nea'' from 1991 to 1993.
He is the Chairman of a Cyprus-based think tank for the Society Reform.
Agreement of co-operation signed between CNA and WAFA
The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the National Palestinian Authority News Agency (WAFA) have signed a cooperation agreement.
The agreement was signed on 15 March 2011, in Ramallah, by CNA Vice President Kypros Kourtelaris and WAFA President Riyad Al Hassan.
The agreement provides that the two agencies will have the right to receive each other's English service, free of charge, use and distribute it within their territories.
It further provides for the exchange of their domestic photo coverage free of charge via the Internet.
In addition, the two agencies agree to promote periodical direct contact between management and journalists of both sides, as well as professional training for journalists both in Nicosia and Ramallah.
CNA and SANA sign an Executive Programme for cooperation
The former Chairman of the Board of the Directors of the Cyprus News Agency Costakis Constantinou (CNA) and the former Director General of the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) Adnan Mahmoud signed on 4 November 2010, in Nicosia, an executive programme for cooperation and news exchange between the two agencies.
In particular, the two agencies ensure free exchange of media services within their activities domain via the available technical means. Each agency has the right to use these services and to provide them to its subscribers provided that their contents are maintained and their source is revealed. The agreement includes 21 articles.
Among other provisions, the agreement stipulates that SANA gives CNA the right to use its news bulletins in the used languages, photos, and documents within the Cypriot borders, and CNA gives SANA the right to use its news bulletins in the used languages, photos and documents within the Syrian borders.
CNA and BTA renew cooperation agreement
The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) renewed on 16 November 2010, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, their non-commercial cooperation agreement.
The agreement was signed by CNA former Board Chairman Costakis Constantinou, and BTA Director General Maxim Minchev.
According to the agreement, the two national news agencies moved to renew cooperation, convinced that through the strengthening of cooperation between them as the national news agencies of Cyprus and Bulgaria and by rendering reciprocal professional assistance they can contribute towards a better flow of information between Cyprus and Bulgaria.
CNA - BTA conferences
The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) organized two conferences in Cyprus and Bulgaria aimed at contributing to the further development of their relations, the relations of the two countries and the two peoples, especially in the fields of economy, commerce, industry, tourism, investments, education and Media.
The first conference, titled ''Cyprus - Bulgaria: Development of relations and the role of the Media” was organized on 10 June 2010 in Nicosia with the participation of Cypriot and Bulgarian Ministers as well as business people and journalists from both countries.
The second conference titled “Bulgaria – Cyprus: Media, Education, Business” was organized in Sofia on 15 November 2010.
CNA - Education Ministry seminar
The Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, together with the Cyprus News Agency, organized on 3 February 2011 a one-day seminar titled “Media and Education”.
The aim of the seminar was to contribute to the effort of Media to cooperate with the field of education in improving the citizens’ abilities to judge, evaluate, choose and reproduce the information received by the Media with strong criteria, protected from delusion and sensationalism.
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Dr. Adnan Mahmoud, the Syrian Information Minister, has entrusted Mr. Ahmad Dhawa to carry out the responsibility as the Director General of the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Mr. Dhawa was born in 1965 and has a B.A. in Information from Damascus University in 1989. He has worked in different Information posts in the Syrian Official 'Al-Thawra' Daily: Chairman of News Directorate, Editor-in-chief for Services and Professional Affairs, Editor-in-Chief for Economic and Domestic Affairs, and then Editor-in-Chief in SANA since 2008.
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AMAN NEWSLETTER (0111)/AMAN/2011