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Salleh proposes Asean News Agency

KUALA LUMPUR: The establishment of an Asean News Agency, comprising media organisations across the region, has been proposed to strengthen cooperation among newsrooms in the region.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said Asean members are faced with cross-border issues relating to security and national sovereignty and they should be reported in a cordial and transparent manner.

"It is therefore my belief that the time has come to establish the Asean News Agency.

"The way forward and with the Asean comunity already a reality, slowly but surely, the Asean News Agency that I am proposing here, could play a significant role in strengthening cooperation on many fronts," he said when opening the Asean Editors' Summit 2016 on Tuesday.

Salleh said the Asean secretariat could look into consensus among member states at a later stage and decide which country to host the agency.

"Of course, also (look at) matters like its modus operandi and financing.

"It could even, to my mind, to be fast-tracked by way of each news agency seconding its senior editors and journalists to the proposed news agency which basically can play the role of a central clearing house for news reports generated by these agencies.

"Working out the finer details would be a challenge to participating agencies but I believe it is doable," he said.

More than 100 editors from all Asean countries, including representatives of news agencies, print media, electronic media and news portals, attended the two-days summit here.

The summit, organised by the Malaysian government and the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, in collaboration with the Jakarta-based Asean secretariat, is aimed at providing greater opportunity for regional media practitioners to gather, share experiences and discuss current issues faced by the industry.