The 28th General Assembly (GA) of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN) haS wrapped Wednesday by the transfer of the presidency, for the period 2019-2020, to Algeria Press Service Agency (APS).
AMAN Secretary General, Georges Penintaex, presided over the handover ceremony of presidency to APS Director General, Fakhredine Beldi, who emphasized, in a short speech, the need to continue joint action and cooperation between the various agencies from both shores of the Mediterranean, suggesting as topics for debate during the future meetings, "new ways of working in journalism, including mobile journalism."
At the end of the Assembly, APS signed an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina's Federal News Agency (FENA) and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
The closing ceremony was marked by the presentation of prizes for the best photo and the best press article by AMAN new President, Fakhredine Beldi and outgoing President Sofia Papadopoulou of the Greek Press Association (NAMA).
The prize for the best photo was awarded to Palestinian photographer, Mustapha Hassouna, from the Turkish news agency "Anadolu" for a photo of a Palestinian demonstrator taken in 2018 during clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli occupying forces.
The prize for the best press article; however, went to journalist Abdelbasset Al Faridhi of the Tunis Afrique Presse agency (TAP) for an analysis investigation report published in 2018 on environmental pollution along the Tunisian coast.
Marked by the presence of directors general and managers of sixteen press agencies in the Mediterranean, the meeting addressed several themes related to strengthening information exchange, dialogue and cooperation between Mediterranean news agencies.
During the meeting, Minister of Communication, Government Spokesman, Hassan Rabehi, highlighted the role of news agencies in the Mediterranean region, aiming to strengthen democratic governance."
For his part, APS Director General, Fakhreddine Beldi, called for a change in the information mode to deal with "Infobesity" through new services adapted to the economic situation.
He additionally underlined the need to conform with the new mode of information consumption, generated by the proliferation of reception supports (mobile, tablet...), with regard to the rapidity with which the information is spread and the vast number of the sources.
In the same vein, AMAN Secretary General Georges Penintaex insisted on the need for news agencies to make changes in their working methods, but also to be in tune with the the unbridled development of technological means throughout the world, with a view to meeting the new challenges and to face fake news, which has become a a global phenomenon with a strong influence on citizens.
Created in 1991, AMAN includes the news agencies of Algeria, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt and Syria.