Asia-Pacific news agencies share experience to combat fake news

Economy, Vietnam, Vietnam Finance News
First Deputy Director General of Russia’s TASS news agency Mikhail Gusman (Source: wikimedia)

Hanoi (VNA) – Members of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News
Agencies (OANA) expressed concern over the spread of fake news and its negative
impact on society, sharing measures to help news outlets and the public to
conduct fact-checking on the occasion of the 44th OANA Executive Board Meeting
hosted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in Hanoi from April 18-20.

First Deputy Director General of Russia’s
TASS news agency Mikhail Gusman stressed that it is time to use every advantage
to develop mechanisms in the fight against fake news.

The first step will be forming close ties
among news agencies, possibly in a traditional alliance like the OANA, he
suggested, stressing on the need to give a clear definition of “fake news”,
along with legal arguments and regulations.

According to Gusman, the OANA is not only a
venue for news agencies to share experience, but also to make important
decisions affecting the stability of the global information space.

When TASS assumed the OANA Chairmanship, a
code of professionalism ethics for OANA was issued with the support of the
Australian Associated Press (AAP), which dictates responsibility for the
correctness of information, including news, photos, and videos, and bans the
publication of news that could promote the activities of terror groups.

Given the context that fake news is
spreading and harming nations, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) affirmed that it
does not compromise in its quest for honest reporting of the multitude of
events in the country and in the world.

As local, regional, and international
events require regular and prompt coverage in the news, the BNA assumes the
responsibility of contributing effectively to keeping the international
community well informed on events and conferences, as well as on contexts and

The agency shared its experience in keeping
to the golden rule of not falling for fake news stories, no matter how genuine
they are made to look or sound.

It also has created win-win situations to
exchange credible news with other agencies in the Middle East, Asia, and
Europe, and signed agreements with some universities and research centres in
order to boost chances of dealing with only factual news and analyses.

The BNA has also trained its staff on the
best practices to verify all news that it receives via email, fax, phone calls,
and messages or that its monitoring team spots on websites.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s
Yonhap news agency shared that the country’s media outlets are strengthening
their fact-checking mechanisms to prevent damage from spreading fake news and
to allow the readers to decide what the facts are when there are conflicting
versions of stories.

Yonhap, the RoK’s premier newswire service,
set up a fact-checking committee and has since made it a permanent team in an
effort to contribute to a virtuous cycle in the local media market and to
provide news that is fast, precise, and balanced.

Yonhap’s fact-check team was officially
launched in April 2018 as part of the newsroom. Foreign correspondents and
reporters can pitch in by writing articles tagged with “fact check” to highlight
issues that require the separation of facts from untruths. The aim is not to
limit fact-checking to specific sections or issues.

Fact-checking has now become one of the most important concerns for Korean
media. Broadcasters and newspapers have separate teams of people focused
directly on this issue.

Yonhap’s fact-checking team filed 140 articles
over the one-year period following its launch, identifying the facts in the
coverage of politics, business, society, culture, science, and other areas of
news. To deal with fake news on YouTube, Yonhap launched a video fact-check
service named “Weekly Fact Check” on March 8 this year, it said. –VNA 


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