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European Alliance of News Agencies’ conference, general assembly organized in Bratislava

October 27, 2016, 12:58 UTC+3

At the events, Russia was represented exclusively by the TASS News Agency

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A view of Bratislava

A view of Bratislava

© Grigory Sysoyev/TASS

The conference of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) and the organization’s general assembly were organized in Bratislava with support of the News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR).

At the events, Russia was represented exclusively by the TASS News Agency, which regularly participates actively in EANA’s work and in its annual conferences. TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov headed the delegation.

Members of the organization, which unites more than 30 of Europe’s biggest news services, discussed the current aspects of news agencies’ independence in the era of digital technology. “Independence of news agencies is a key factor in providing trustworthy news in a complicated modern world. It is necessary in our work with the public,” Director General of Slovakia’s TASR news agency Jarslov Reznik said. Quick access to new technologies and cooperation with social networks are the modern challenges for news agencies, he added.

Executives of major news agencies praised a speech by Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships for EMEA, Nick Wrenn, as highly interesting.

“Facebook invites news agencies to use and develop the company’s enormous technological experience and practically unlimited options of using technical breakthroughs in news processing and delivery to subscribers,” Jaroslav Reznik told TASS. “For example, Facebook broadcasts from practically any place in the world. Those telecasts do not require expenses, and there are options to expand a picture to a desirable resolution.” It may be possible to receive a picture to a PC, smartphone or any other mobile device.

On the topic of new developments in technology, TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov said news agencies’ employees need to promptly master those skills. “Technologies develop quickly, every second. Most importantly, reporters should quickly master those skills. It is necessary to have a sort of ‘realignment’ in their thinking. Making content is directly connected with the means to delivering it promptly to our subscribers,” he said. “Here, the solutions suggested by Facebook are amazing. They make us change literally every day.”

The forum participants concluded that the exchange of experience and cooperation on an international level would be favorable to bolstering the influence of major regional sources of information, especially in the booming development of social media.

The EANA general assembly elected the organization’s new president. For the coming two years, the position will be occupied by Jonas Eriksson, Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Swedish press agency, TT. He replaced the Press Association Group’s Executive Director Clive Marshall.

EANA’s next conference will take place in Aya Napa (Cyprus) on May 17-19, 2017. It will be supported by the Cyprus News Agency.

The European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) was established at a conference on new media technology in Strasbourg in 1956. The founders were Western European news agencies, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency and Yugoslavia’s Tanjug. EANA´s predecessor Agences Alliées was founded in 1924 and was active until World War II.

The Alliance presently unites 32 news agencies in Western and Eastern Europe.

The conference of the European Alliance of News Agencies and the EANA’s general assembly closed on September 23.

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