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Asia News Network: Pushing press freedom across platforms

Asia News Network: Pushing press freedom across platforms Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1113923/asia-news-network-pushing-press-freedom-across-platforms#ixzz5n0CH8eCF Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Board members and editors of the Asia News Network (ANN) meet in Seoul, South Korea, to commemorate the ANN’s 20th anniversary and chart the group’s new direction, redefine its vision and mission and enhance collaboration to “deliver news and information, promote free and responsible press, bring Asia closer together and tell the story of the Asian century to the world.” Seated from left: Shefali Rekhi, Juliet Javellana, Esther Ng, Handayani Primastuti, Yullen Hwn, Quinn Libson. Standing from left: Kate Yau, Kay Lim, Tran Tri, Warren Fernandez, Zaid Kalam, Yudi Wanandi, Glenn Chong, Nezar Patria, Supalak Ganjanakhundee, Pana Janviroj, Mahfuz Anam, Christoph Grabitz, Chon Shi-yong, Christian Klick, Werner vom Busch, Ly Tayseng, Jahanzaib Haque, Ray Zhouli, Kenichi Okumura, Pook Ah Lek, Riza Rawdin, Philip Golingai, Cod Satrusang, Thein Mint, Dimitri Bruyas and Leang Phannara. ANN PHOTO

SEOUL — In 1999, seven editors waiting for a delayed flight after attending a media conference in Manila decided to put together a network of Asian newspapers to cover Asia through Asian eyes.

Twenty years later, the Asia News Network (ANN) has become the region’s biggest alliance of 24 English daily newspapers in 20 countries, with a combined circulation of 12 million, 90 million Facebook followers, 200 million unique visitors and 2.5 billion page views a month.

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In a meeting in this city from April 24 to 27 to mark the network’s 20th year, ANN board members adopted a new vision for the group: “Bringing Asia closer.”

To pursue it, the group vows to work across platforms “to deliver news and information, promote free and responsible media, bring Asia closer together and tell the story of the Asian century to the world.”

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Asia News Network: Pushing press freedom across platforms Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1113923/asia-news-network-pushing-press-freedom-across-platforms#ixzz5n0CH8eCF Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

The board members of the Asia News Network (ANN) meet in Seoul, South Korea, to commemorate the ANN’s 20th anniversary and chart the group’s new direction, redefine its vision and mission and enhance collaboration “to deliver news and information, to promote free and responsible press, bring Asia closer together and tell the story of the Asian century to the world.” Seated from left: Juliet Javellana (Philippine Daily Inquirer), Warren Fernandez (The Straits Times), Yudi Wanandi (Jakarta Post), Chon Shi-yong (The Korea Herald), Christoph Grabitz (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Media Programme Asia), Pana Janviroj (The Nation). Standing from left: Glenn Chong (KAS), Supalak Ganjanakhundee (The Nation), Esther Ng (The Star), Mahfuz Anam (The Daily Star), Christian Klick (board of advisor), Ray Zhouli (China Daily), Werner vom Busch (KAS), Pook Ah Lek (Sin Chew Daily), Dimitri Bruyas (The China Post), Ly Tyseng (China Daily), Thein Mint (Eleven Media Group). ANN PHOTO

Asia covered by Asians

As an Asian network, the ANN exchanges news reports, analyses, photos and other information on a daily basis with other members, holds training for journalists and collaborates on other regional projects.

At the gala dinner commemorating the ANN anniversary at the Lotte Hotel, Pana Janviroj, ANN executive director and editor of Thailand’s The Nation, recalled how the network began with seven editors who had just attended the first Asian-German Editors Forum organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Manila in 1999.

Noting how reports about Asia came from foreign wire services, the group decided to form a network of newspapers to improve the coverage of Asian affairs by the Asian media.

Thus was ANN born with seven founding members: India’s The Statesman; Indonesia’s The Jakarta Post; Malaysia’s Sin Chew Daily and The Star Online; the Philippines’ The Manila Times; Singapore’s The Straits Times; Thailand’s The Nation and Vietnam’s Viet Nam News.

Asia News Network: Pushing press freedom across platforms Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1113923/asia-news-network-pushing-press-freedom-across-platforms#ixzz5n0CH8eCF Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

ANN board members led by ANN executive director Pana Janviroj, chair Chon Shi-yong and Christoph Grabitz, director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Media Program Asia, hold the annual executive board meeting at the Lotte Hotel Seoul to chart the new direction, vision and mission of the ANN which includes 24 English daily newspapers in 20 countries in Asia. ANN PHOTO

Self-regulated associations

Over the years, the ANN family grew to 24 to include the Philippine Daily Inquirer (a member since 1999), Bangladesh’s The Daily Star, Bhutan’s Kuensel, Brunei’s Brunei Press, Cambodia’s The Phnom Penh Post and Rasmei Kampuchea, China’s China Daily, Taiwan’s The China Post, India’s DataLeads and The Statesman, Japan’s The Japan News, Laos’ Vientiane Times, Mongolia’s Gogo Mongolia, Myanmar’s Eleven Media Group, Nepal’s The Kathmandu Post, Pakistan’s Dawn, South Korea’s The Korea Herald and Sri Lanka’s The Island.

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In the ANN executive board meeting, chair Chon Shi-yong, chief editorial writer of The Korea Herald, paid tribute to the group’s two decades of shining a light on Asia through reports shared across boundaries and platforms.

Asia News Network: Pushing press freedom across platforms Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1113923/asia-news-network-pushing-press-freedom-across-platforms#ixzz5n0CH8eCF Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

ANN Chair Chon Shi-yong (3rd from left) presides at the executive board meeting with Glenn Chong, Christoph Grabitz and Pana Janviroj at the two-day meeting held at the Lotte Hotel Seoul. JULIET JAVELLANA

Pana agreed. “That we have remained together in unity is unique among self-regulated associations/alliances in Asia. It is down to ‘trust’ as professional journalists who are working with the common goal of keeping our readers/viewers well-informed with credible news coverage and opinion,” he said.

Despite the diversity of its members, the ANN board voted to include promotion of press freedom in its vision, with Pana suggesting that “Maybe we should be more robust in this area in the future.”

Pana also cited the Philippines’ hard-won press freedom after the Marcos dictatorship was toppled.

Asia News Network: Pushing press freedom across platforms Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1113923/asia-news-network-pushing-press-freedom-across-platforms#ixzz5n0CH8eCF Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Christoph Grabitz, director of the Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung Media Programme Asia, addresses the ANN members during the gala dinner held at the Lotte Hotel Seoul in commemoration of the ANN’s 20th anniversary last April 26. The KAS is the ANN’s sponsor since the network was established in 1999. JULIET JAVELLANA

Investing in press freedom

“The Inquirer has always been an active member [of the ANN] as the Philippines is endowed with freedom of expression—a value that Filipinos worked tirelessly for [though it proved] costly to win,” he added.

Pana also acknowledged the constant support of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), the foundation established in honor of Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, for taking a “neutral and independent view [and] acting like a referee to 24 media organizations.”

Christoph Grabitz, director of ANN lone sponsor, the KAS Media Programme Asia, responded that KAS has been investing in press freedom all over the world “because we live in a global village,” where press freedom is vital for democracy.

“It is not self-evident that a network such as the ANN will survive 20 years” in a region rife with conflict, Grabitz said, adding that he hopes ANN  would “carry on surviving for many [more] years to come.”

A highlight of the four-day event was the April 25 courtesy call on South Korea President Moon Jae-in at the Presidential Blue House, Moon’s first meeting with the international media, according to the Presidential Information Office.

The ANN members also cosponsored the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Korea Media Forum on the popular Korean (K-pop) Wave and visited the Samsung Innovation Museum. The gala dinner meanwhile showed a Facebook live event hosted by China Daily’s DJ Clark, which featured Asian street food in six cities.

At the end of the board meeting, the ANN members elected Warren Fernandez, editor in chief of The Straits Times of Singapore to be this year’s ANN chair as the paper celebrates its 175th anniversary in July.

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