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Asean journalists cooperate to overcome regional challenges

Enhancing media cooperation and the challenges facing the profession in the region were tabled for discussion among members of the Confederation of Asean Journalists (CAJ) as they began their meeting in Vientiane yesterday.
Some challenging include the closure of many print media outlets and the downsizing of news organisations, the struggle of mainstream media to maintain credibility, and the new scourge of fake news and disinformation.
In his welcoming remarks, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, and President of Lao Journalists Association (LJA), Mr Savankhone Razmountry noted the importance of the media in promoting the region’s vision and deepening people’s understanding as measures to overcome the challenges. “We, as media administrators, should encourage our media personnel to report more regularly on all of our priorities and plans in order to promote the Asean Vision 2025,” Mr Savankhone said, stressing the raising of awareness and deepening of understanding among people of Asean and around the world through interesting and constructive content using different media platforms, including print, radio, television, and new media, altogether against fake news.
The deputy minister reminded participants that the CAJ meeting was an important opportunity for members to share ideas on how they can fulfil their action plan for the 2018-2020 term, which was adopted at the 19th CAJ General Assembly held early last year in Bangkok, Thailand.
Under the action plan, the LJA and Confederation of Thai Journalists (CTJ) jointly organised a working visit for journalists from CAJ member countries in June last year, which has successfully contributed to promoting better understanding among Asean countries through tourism.
“We do hope the great success of the Lao-Thai working visit programme would encourage other confederations members to initiate and promote similar activities in the coming years in order to expand the dimension of the fruitful cooperation among all of us,” Mr Savankhone stressed.
He noted the strong economic growth in the country, which was boosted by the rollout of the last year’s Visit Laos Year programme when more than 4.1 million overseas tourists visited the country and generated revenue of more than US$755 million.
The Lao government projects that more than 1 million Chinese will visit the country in 2019 for Laos-China Visit Year, and hopes to attract around 4.5 million visitors from around the world. Under the CAJ action plan, CTJ and LJA also worked with Thailand’s Online News Providers to organise a regional forum on the issue of ‘fake news’ and the role of professional media in dealing with the challenge in Bangkok in August of last year. In his opening remarks at the ongoing meeting which continues to Saturday, President of CAJ Mr Thepchai Yong discussed the fast-changing media landscape with traditional media continuously facing new and unprecedented challenges.
“These challenges have been recognised by CAJ. They were highlighted in both the Hanoi Declaration in 2015 and the Bangkok Declaration in 2018, which reaffirmed CAJ’s commitment to working together to face this most challenging time,” he said.
“Therefore, the meeting of the CAJ Board of Directors today should provide us with a good opportunity to discuss how we can enhance our cooperation to face the changes and challenges facing the media profession,” Mr Thepchai explained.
Presidents and representatives from LJA, National Union of Journalists Malaysia, National Press Club of the Philippines, Vietnam Journalists Association, CTJ, Club of Cambodian Journalists, and Indonesian Journalists Association are taking part in the meeting.
Myanmar Journalists Association also attended the meeting as an observer.  

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 29, 2019)

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