Traditionally, news agencies have played a key role as suppliers of facts and reports to all media, originally newspapers, radio and television. With the explosive development of new media platforms and the free flow of any kind of information around the world, it is of the utmost importance to secure public access to reliable reporting. The internet is in many ways a good information tool, but the downside is that it poses such a big threat to the unbiased and reliable production of news that it has already reduced at an alarming rate the number of serious media in Europe and the USA. They simply can no longer make profit out of producing news nobody is willing to pay for.
Delivering useful, reliable news for the people is not just a business. It is an essential element in a civilized, democratic society. Regional news agency alliances such as OANA, FANA, EANA etc. have been—and still are—valuable organizations to their members, but with globalization, cooperation among them in the News Agencies World Congress (NAWC) is even more important, since news no longer has borders. If sources of reliable news dry out, ignorance and rumors will prevail. News agencies have the duty to prevent that from happening. NAWC is a forum for the exchange of experiences, views and professional knowledge so that agencies are able to perform this duty.
- Definition of News Agency
A news agency is an organization that produces and distributes its own, original news, including a general news service, and has agreements with the media and other subscribers, and is relevant in its market. A news agency, which can have either a national or international focus, can include among its products contents from other news agencies, provided the relevant parties have an agreement to cover this use.
- Objectives of the News Agencies World Congress (NAWC)
The NAWC is an international congress for the world’s news agencies around the world, which was established in 2004 in Moscow with the purpose of ensuring and improving the members’ ability to perform as key operators in the fast growing diversity of the global media market. The objectives of the NAWC are to strengthen unbiased news reporting, support the principle of freedom of the press and contribute to the general understanding of the news background. The NAWC is working to inspire and support news agencies, sharing knowledge of the most modern and important developments in the media business. The NAWC seeks to address the issues of digitization, social media and the development of alternative business models. The NAWC is working to protect original work from piracy and exploitation of news agencies' material through aggregators. The NAWC is not a political forum, and recognizes the diversity among different news agencies. Combined, unbiased news agencies are the foundation for reliable, worldwide reporting and thus a prerequisite to understand important events in the world. The NAWC works for the safety of journalists in dangerous zones, and for news agencies' free access to news events of public interest (politics, crime, law, sports, entertainment, etc.)
- Composition of the Council and Congress
The NAWC is held at least every three years. The News Agency World Council (NACO) is responsible, in collaboration with the hosting news agency, for the structure of, and the program for, the forthcoming Congress. At least two meetings of NACO are held between Congresses. The NACO consists of the following members and is formed on the basis of the following principles:
A) Board members are the current President, the two previous Presidents, the Secretary General and the Chairman of the organizing committee of the upcoming Congress.
B) All news agencies are represented in the Council by their regional associations, currently; FANA, EANA, OANA, LANA and Alliance of CIS Agencies. An overlap of representation of news agencies should be avoided. The two world agencies AP and Thomson Reuters, not being member of a regional association, may represent themselves. Agencies not covered by the above may be invited to attend by the Secretary General or the President or can be represented by the Secretary General himself.
C) The NACO is free to co-opt any person to the Council who is willing to support the work of the Council.
D) The host of the forthcoming Congress can invite specific persons to be members of working groups between Councils. The hosting news agency and the Council of the latest Congress will support the work for the next Congress to the best of their ability.
E) The presidency of the NAWC is held by the hosting agency of the latest Congress, beginning from the end of that Congress and ending at the end of the following Congress.
F) The hosting agency of a NAWC pays the official meals, the hotel costs and any domestic travel for all participants. The individual participants pay all other expenditures, including flights to and from the hosting country. The NACO can decide to appoint a Secretary General to assist the Presidency. The position of Secretary General is unpaid, but the Secretary General’s expenditures related to meetings and preparations (flight, hotels, meals, taxis and agreed expenses) are covered by the agency holding the Presidency of NACO.