The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) will host the 38th Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) Executive Board Meeting with the theme, "The Advent of Social Media and Challenges Confronting News Agencies".
Some 40 participants comprising chief executive officers and top officials representing the board members are expected to attend the three-day meeting starting Friday, according to the sisterly Malaysian News Agency "Bernama" .
OANA'S 44 news agencies from 35 countries are responsible for two-thirds of information circulated throughout the world.
Bernama deputy editor-in-chief (International News Service), Ahmad Zukiman Mohd Zain, said that Bernama, an active member of the organisation, was given the honour to host the Kuala Lumpur meeting at the previous board meeting held in Bahrain last year.
Ahmad Zukiman said that OANA, a platform to reach out to the world, was set up to enable a free flow of news exchange among member countries so as not to be totally dependent on the news agencies of Western countries.
The news agencies taking part are Russia's TASS, China's Xinhua, South Korea's Yonhap, Indonesia's Antara, Emirates News Agency (WAM), Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Bahrain News Agency (BNA), Iran's IRNA, Turkey's Anadolu, Iran's Mehr News Agency (MNA), Mongolia's MONTSAME News Agency, Australian Associated Press (AAP), Azerbaijan's AzerTAc and Kazakhstan's INA kazinform.
Apart from the meeting, the participants are also expected to join a luncheon talk with Bernama's former general manager Yong Soo Heong, who had attended various OANA meetings during his term as the national news agency's general manager.
OANA was formed in 1961 on the initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to secure direct and free exchange of news among the news agencies of a region inhabited by more than one half of the world's population.
The Asia-Pacific countries account for 56 per cent of world gross product, some 50 per cent of its trade turnover, over 60 per cent of its maritime and nearly 25 per cent of air transport volume.
According to the OANA website, the world's largest financial reserves and science-intensive technologies are concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region. -- NNN-BERNAMA, Bernama reported