Friday, June 08, 2007

News agencies ponder about their future ....

In the face of tough challenges, news agencies worldwide will take a hard look at their future when they meet at the World Congress of News Agencies (WCNA) in the Spanish resort city of Estepona in October.
Among the growing concerns are the free content provided by Internet search engines as they compete to outdo each other and the question of corporate takeovers besetting private-run news agencies.
The safety of journalists also warrant immediate attention with the increasing number of media personnel killed in conflict areas around the world. More than 100 journalists have been killed so far this year.
The News Agencies World Council, an alliance of regional news agencies organisations, which met in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi last week, agreed on the issues to be addressed by the WCNA which last convened its meeting in Moscow three years ago.
"Nobody heard about the Internet before 1994 but today everybody is saying news is free, what then is our future? said WCNA secretary-general Uffe Sorensen. The 2nd WCNA would be held from Oct 24 to 28.
The tendency to monopolise major sports events by the ruling international body was another cause of concern.
In some instances, news agencies were not allowed to transmit photographs of a sports event until it was over, thus denying them of their obligation to provide fast service to subscribers.