Bringing Asia closer: ANN redefines vision, mission on 20th anniversary | The Daily Star
03:39 PM, April 26, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:52 PM, April 26, 2019

Bringing Asia closer: ANN redefines vision, mission on 20th anniversary

Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore’s The Straits Times, appointed as ANN chairperson for the 2019-2020 term

The Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 media companies in 20 Asian nations, charted a new course for its future on the final day of its 20th anniversary board meeting on Friday, at Lotte Hotel in Seoul.

When ANN was founded in 1999, its founding members’ vision was to deliver news about Asia through Asian eyes. As the network marked 20 years of successful pan-Asian journalistic collaboration, its board gathered in Seoul to redefine ANN’s future vision and mission.

ANN’s new tagline, “Bringing Asia closer,” replaces “We know Asia better,” which hinted at rivalry with Western media. The new motto is multifaceted: Read one way, it indicates that Asian countries can understand each other better through ANN. A second interpretation implies that ANN can bring Asia closer to anyone who is interested in Asia.

ANN aims to be the leading network of Asian media organisations, collaborating across platforms to deliver quality news and information -- both to bring Asian countries closer to each other and to tell the story of the “Asian century” to the world.

To this end, the board agreed that it is critical for ANN member companies to invest in human capital and technical resources for the relevant and timely sharing of news, opinion and video content. Appropriate infrastructure must be set up in the form of an ANN editor and video producer within each member company. The members share the goals of quality journalism, press freedom, and understanding of the changing realities both within their countries and within the region as a whole.

How best to carry out cross-national collaboration is a long-standing point of debate at ANN. For the continuation of the group, the board members agreed, working together to add new value and new sources of revenue is an important task at hand.

Steps will be taken to establish training programs for ANN members’ junior journalists. A shared human resources pool will give each member’s national stories a regional perspective, as well as enhance multimedia journalism skills and camaraderie among younger journalists, the board said.

As important as it is to increase cohesion within the organization, the board agreed, it is just as important to develop an appropriate business model to raise the funds to make ANN self-sustaining.

ANN will aim to create a secretariat consisting of media and business professionals to run the network. This would involve setting up a website that functions as a content hub showcasing the collective efforts of the media network.

ANN is also mulling registering itself as a legal entity. At this year’s meeting, the board discussed the possibility of setting up a “society” in Singapore -- a term used there to refer to any club, company, partnership or association of 10 or more people.

Various requirements would need to be fulfilled to achieve this. One of the most serious hurdles is the need for the society’s three key office bearers -- its president, secretary and treasurer -- to be Singaporean citizens or permanent residents.

The board will convene another meeting to discuss the matter further and decide on responsibilities.

The role of ANN chairperson for the 2019-2020 term passed from The Korea Herald’s Chief Editorial Writer Chon Shi-yong to Warren Fernandez, the editor-in-chief of Singapore’s The Straits Times, which celebrates its 175th anniversary July 15, 2019.

Copyright: The Korea Herald/ Asia News Network

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