Cooperation ramped up to amplify Asia’s voice

The meeting marked the first in-person assembly of the leading regional news alliance since the pandemic, building bridges for collaborative efforts among Asian countries and between Asia and the rest of the world.


Qu Yingpu (center, front row), publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Group, and Mahfuz Anam (fourth from left, front row), chairman of the Asia News Network, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, pose for a group photo with other representatives of Asia News Network during ANN's annual meeting in Beijing, China, on Sept 4, 2023. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY

September 6, 2023

BEIJING – Representatives of 15 news entities in Asia emphasized the need for elevating cooperation to a new level and making Asia’s voice heard, during the board meeting of the Asia News Network on Monday in Beijing.

The meeting marked the first in-person assembly of the leading regional news alliance since the COVID-19 pandemic, building new bridges for collaborative efforts among Asian countries and between Asia and the rest of the world.

The news alliance was established in 1999, and China Daily has been its member since 2000.

The Proposal for Strengthening Media Exchange and Cooperation was approved at the board meeting, charting a new direction for the alliance’s future development.

The meeting decided to work toward setting up an independent newsroom with reputable professionals to make the ANN an independent news source for all its members, and for regional and global media in general.

Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said in his welcoming remarks that the purpose of the meeting is to deepen ANN cooperation, enhance ANN story exchanges, jointly produce impactful videos, and organize enriching workshops and forums.

“These initiatives not only strengthen our ties but also amplify our voices to resonate across Asia, and even globally,” he noted.

Qu reminded that media organizations in Asia face common challenges. “We face the daunting task of not just reporting news but interpreting it in a way that is relevant, respectful and resonates with our diverse audiences.”

These challenges push us to innovate, to adapt and to grow, he emphasized.

Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of Bangladesh’s The Daily Star, said: “We need to understand and know each other better in our own region … to mutually share our problems and opportunities. We must tell the world (about) the creativity and the innovation, and most importantly, (about) our collective intellectual and cultural heritage in Asia.”

Anam, who is also the incumbent chairman of the ANN, highlighted that as Asian countries are very important players in the international sphere, Asian media must use the opportunity of this alliance of 22 English news organizations to tell the Asian story to the world.

In its latest Asia-Pacific regional economic outlook report, which was released in May, the International Monetary Fund predicted that Asia will contribute nearly 70 percent of global growth in 2023, and the growth in the region will accelerate to 4.6 percent from 3.8 percent in 2022. In particular, China and India together are forecast to generate about half of global growth this year.

The challenge at the moment is to turn this network into an efficient and independent news service for its members and the broader Asian market, Anam said. He urged all participating members to make the ANN a more effective network of media collaboration.

On how to enrich ANN content, Zaffar Abbas, editor of Pakistan’s Dawn Media Group, suggested that the alliance should offer a broader range of opinions, editorials, exclusive features and human interest stories.

Abbas said that international readers are interested in features and opinion pieces from Asian countries, which the ANN can excel at delivering. To draw an audience beyond its member regions, Abbas believes that the network should create bias-free original content.

On Monday, ANN delegates also attended a captivating cultural heritage exhibition hosted at the China Daily headquarters in Beijing.

The event featured mesmerizing tea art performances on-site, exquisite crafts from various ethnic groups, as well as tea and coffee from Pu’er, Yunnan province, the birthplace of one of the world’s most renowned fermented teas.

The delegates will participate in the Forum on Cultural Heritage Conservation and make field visits to local businesses in the following days.

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