• AGERPRES Director General Giboi nominated by six European agencies to run for EANA Secretary General

    AGERPRES Director General Alexandru Giboi was nominated as candidate for the Secretary General position of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA).

    According to the EANA statutes, in order to become a candidate for this position, the nomination of at least three member agencies is needed and Alexandru Giboi was nominated by the following agencies: BTA (Bulgaria), CNA (Cyprus), ANA-MPA (Greece), ATA (Albania), FENA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), TASR (Slovakia), alongside AGERPRES Romanian National News Agency.

    Currently, Alexandru Giboi is a member in the EANA Board, elected in September 2015, but he also holds the Secretary General position of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA), being elected for a second mandate in September 2016.

    This autumn’s elections will take place after the current Secretary General completes his mandate, namely Erik Nylen, who is a mass-media expert with a vast experience. Prior to taking over the Secretary General position of the EANA, he also was CEO of Sweden’s TT News Agency.

    Also running for the Secretary General position of the EANA is Poland’s Lidia Sobanska, who is endorsed by three news agencies.

    For the first time in the EANA history, the Spring Conference of the Alliance will take place in Bucharest, in April 2018, at the invitation of AGERPRES Romanian National News Agency. More…

  • Sofia hosts “The role of news agencies in time of crisis” conference

    A joint conference of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) and the Black Sea Association of National News Agencies (BSANNA) on “The role of news agencies in time of crisis”, aimed at drawing attention to the responsibilities which the media institutions have with the public and the entire society, regardless of the nature of the crisis moments which it may go through, takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria, over September 8 -11.

    AGERPRES Romanian National News Agency Director General Alexandru Giboi also participated in the opening of the conference, organised by BTA Bulgarian News Agency, having underscored in his speech mass-media’s huge responsibility with the society.

    “Mass-media has a huge responsibility with the society. The level of influence the press has, and so much the more the news agencies, which disseminate news on an international level, must be always taken into account, both on a press management level and on the public’s level. For AGERPRES, the role of public information provider is the most important, we grant a very special attention to it. That is why we are trying to constantly keep up with the latest technology developments, as we are aware that the technologic evolution influence our public’s media consumption habits. A recent EBU study says that the countries with well-organised public media services and with a broad public are less corrupt, more democratic, and the press benefits from a higher degree of freedom. An increased attention granted to the public media institutions in Romania would be a step forward for the entire society. We must be aware of the role we have in society. The press shapes the society and we must be aware that our children, too, will live in the society we shaped,” AGERPRES Romanian National News Agency Director General Alexandru Giboi told the conference in Sofia. More…

  • First exhibition of AGERPRES archive photographs opens in Chisinau

    The Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES opened on Friday its first ever exhibition in Chisinau, Moldova, of some of the most valuable photographs from its archive.

    The exhibition is hosted by the Republic of Moldova’s Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry and opened as part of a meeting of Romania-Moldova Mass-Media Consultative Council. It includes images depicting important moments both in Romania and Moldova’s history.

    Attending the event were Minister-delegate for Romanians Abroad Dan Stoenescu, Romania’s Ambassador in Chisinau Marius Lazurca, Moldova’s Foreign Affairs and European Integration Vice Minister Lilian Darii, as well as AGERPRES Director General Alexandru Giboi.

    “To me, it is an emotional thing to see photographs of our common history here in Chisinau, photos that belong to the memory of times past, photos that reveal the age of the monarchy, the communist period, as well as moments of the 1989 Revolution. It is very important that the public in the Republic of Moldova know more from the Romanians’ history,” said Stoenescu.

    In his turn, Moldova’s Foreign Affairs and European Integration Deputy Minister Lilian Darii said he was impressed with this exhibition.

    “It is an impressive exhibition and I am glad that the Foreign Ministry can benefit from these instants of history presented here. The event today will allow closer cooperation between the Romanian media overall and AGERPRES in particular, and our news agencies,” he said.

    The AGERPRES photograph archive was launched in Bucharest in March, and then displayed at the Romanian Film Evenings Festival in Iasi in early May. More…

  • AGERPRES’ head: It is incorrect to use name of two agencies to promote false news stories

    Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES’ General Director Alexandru Giboi says that the news item that appeared on awdnews.com referring to the former Saudi ambassador in Romania, Abdulrahman I. Al Rassi is false.

    “The news item presented on that respective website is false. AGERPRES has not treated such a subject, simply because it doesn’t exist. I am appealing to decency and to respect for professional ethics by the mass-media, regardless of the country it comes from. It is incorrect to use the name of two press agencies with a long tradition in order to promote false and manipulating subjects. Furthermore, I would like to appeal to the public to grant as much attention as possible to their sources of information. Before believing doubtful subjects, it is best for the public to consult as many sources as possible, in order to verify the information,” Alexandru Giboi emphasized.

    The reaction of the AGERPRES General Director came after the website www.awdnews.com published a news item according to which the Saudi ambassador to Romania had raped and then killed a Romanian secretary. The said news item uses quotes that are attributed, incorrectly, to AFP and the Romanian National News Agency. More…

  • UNESCO’s Lukosiunas: We are very concerned about safety of journalists

    UNESCO has a special mandate to improve the freedom of expression and protection of journalists all around the world and we are extremely concerned about safety of journalists, UNESCO Programme Specialist – Communication and Information Sector Marius Lukosiunas told the “Protection of Journalists and the Freedom of the Press” conference on Thursday at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest.

    “The organisation I represent, UNESCO, has a special mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom all through the world and we are extremely concerned about the safety of journalists. To prove that (…) at the beginning of February [at] the UNESCO headquarters in Paris we had a big conference with media leaders (…) where we discussed the issue of safety. The purpose of the meeting was twofold, on the one had to see what we in the industry (…) can do to improve the situation and how to put in front of the governments (…) the whole range of issues in the context of safety of journalists (…) and to give a strong signal that enough is enough and that it is the ultimate responsibility of the governments to ensure the safety of journalists,” said Lukosiunas.

    He continued with a presentation of the current state of affairs worldwide in terms of protection of the safety of journalists, underscoring that 69 years passed between the first time journalists’ access to information was raised in 1947 and the first UN resolution on the matter. Lukosiunas mentioned that five resolutions of the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly on the safety of journalists have been issued ever since.

    “The UNESCO Director General every two years issues a director general’s report (…) that names journalists that have been killed, and, on the basis of that (…) the UNESCO Director General, every time a journalist is killed, is issuing a statement condemning it and sends a request to the respective member state to report on the judicial investigation. So, there is a monitoring system not only on how many journalists have been killed, but there is also a monitoring system of what the member states do in order to ensure that the cases are investigated. When we look at who are the victims, we of course talk about those journalists who are active in war zones, or civil conflicts, but actually 97 percent of the journalists killed are the journalists who are representing local mass-media, the ones who are doing investigative journalism, the ones who are breaking the corruption cases in their specific countries. (…) We at UNESCO are trying to work in order to help and to facilitate better international standards for protection of both groups,” Lukosiunas explained. More…

  • AGERPRES head Giboi: Mass-media – a living body that needs to evolve free of all restrictive legislative interference

    The quality of democracy can be measured by the freedom of speech, and mass-media is a living body that must be allowed to evolve independently, free of all restrictive legislative interference, Alexandru Giboi, Director General of the Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES told a debate on the relation between the quality of democracy and the freedom of the press.

    “I believe that the quality of democracy can be truly measured by the freedom of speech, by the extent of the freedom of speech. Starting from a minimum, we can say that our mere presence here, at the discussion, is a sign that we are on the right path. Had censorship been so high, we couldn’t have met and talked now. The less regulations in mass-media, the better, of course. From my point of view, mass-media is a living body that must be allowed to evolve independently, free of all restrictive legislative interference. The freer we can speak, the more democratic we can say the state is,” Giboi said at a debate organised at the Senate by the Expert Committee on the assessment of the state of democracy and rule of law in Romania.

    He showed that a well-informed public always makes the best decisions and underscored the need for education programmes being set in place in respect to selecting the information sources.

    “From my point of view, we don’t have a very well-trained public as far as the selection of the information sources is concerned. When the public is not that well trained in selecting the information sources, you face the risk of having a public that doesn’t make the best decisions, because it is misinformed, so to speak. A well-informed public always makes the best decisions in a democratic state. Therefore, I support the idea of the need for public education programmes in respect to selecting the information sources. We can start right with schools or high schools. The pupils can be trained to know what print media and the television are, how they can use the Internet to find useful information, (…) to know how to make a selection of the information items according to their own needs, (…) to make the difference between information and opinion,” Giboi explained.

    He saluted the committee’s initiative to organise a debate on the topic of the relation between the quality of democracy and the freedom of the press, but voiced dissatisfaction at the fact that not all the media seem interested in this topic.

    “We can have endless talks on how oppressed the media is or on the malfunctions of the rule of law which lead to certain unwanted situations in mass-media, be it public or private, but I believe that we should realize that a great part of the media is not interested in this situation. Why? In my opinion, because there are certain conditionalities in the private mass-media, in particular, which are related to the financial side, conditionalities which have led to certain variations and inequalities in respect to the evolution of the press, both private and state-owned. There has always been a debate concerning this situation with the state-owned media which has money, and private media which doesn’t have money. I cannot say that AGERPRES has money and I cannot say it has a very wide freedom to develop as a press institution either. Each area is confronted with specific conditionalities; I don’t believe that there must be a competition between public media and private media. We even help the private media as much as we can, we have even released a free-access public newsfeed,” Alexandru Giboi also said. More…

  • AGERPRES 2016 budget plus amendment for additional funds adopted by Budget-Finance Committees

    The budget of the Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES for 2016 was adopted, over the weekend, unanimously, by the joint Budget Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, with the amendment for additional funds for an online video service also included.

    The lawmakers in the joint Culture Committees adopted, on Friday, an amendment providing for an addition of 1,646,000 lei to the AGERPRES budget to develop the video service, but in the discussions held in the joint Budget Committees it was decided that the Agency’s budget be supplemented by 1 million lei, with the remaining sum to be given at the summer budget adjustment.

    The amendment, adopted unanimously by the joint Budget Committees provides for an addition to the AGERPRES budget by diminishing the budget of the Public Finance Ministry (the Other Transfers chapter) by one million lei.

    AGERPRES General Director Alexandru Giboi has emphasized that the addition is “vital” for the functioning of the video studio, as well as for maintaining the development rate of the Agency.

    “The Agency’s 2016 budget is worth 22,130,000 lei, of which the state budget is 19.130.000 lei. We have a very important need in regards to personnel spending. This year we had pretty high investment costs for the outfitting of a video studio and, obviously, in 2016 we want this studio to function and for this we need an addition to the budget. We have to hire 30 persons. Consequentially, in order to maintain the development rate of the Agency, this addition is vital,” Alexandru Giboi said.

    Under the State budget bill, AGERPRES has a total of 22,130,000 lei allocated for 2016, by 16.47 percent more than this year. More…

  • INTERVIEW/UN Deputy SecGen Jan Eliasson: Political, economic and inter-human relations work to solve conflicts

    The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, granted an interview to AGERPRES in which he speaks of the migration crisis in Europe in the context of the worsening situation in the Middle East, but also the role of the media in reflecting global events.

    On the causes of the migration phenomenon, the Deputy Secretary General presented a formula established by the UN in 2005-2006 to define conflict that could very well be the keystone to the phenomenon. “[T]here is no peace without development and there is no development without peace and there is none of the above without respect for human rights,” said the Secretary General.

    ***

    AGERPRES: Migration is a problem that has become very important in the past few months since the beginning of the year and now with the crisis in Syria that is even more complicated, with the context in Iraq, Iran. How do you think this migration crisis could affect the effective implementation of the Agenda 2030?

    Jan Eliasson: Well, it might have some indirect consequences on the agenda of 2030, but I think that if you look at it in the short-term and medium-term, we need to focus on the three aspects of migration: what is the situation of the countries of destination and that’s where Europe has its debate — mostly how to receive and how many to receive. The second aspect is the countries of transit — how do we organize this flow of refugees from, let’s say, Libya, but also now growing from Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, so that we may have an orderly transfer of refugees. That is not easy, particularly in Libya, where the situation is so unclear and dangerous, I would say. The third dimension is the countries of origin and that leads us immediately to the discussion of rules.

    There are many reasons to end this war — the suffering of the Syrian people, the pressure on the neighboring countries, the fact that ISIS (Daesh) is expanding and taking territory both in Syria and Iraq. That should’ve been enough, but now we also have the flow of refugees through Europe creating important socio-economic and political strains, apart from dealing with stranded people.

    The migration issue has brought up for the United Nations these three dimensions that we must deal with — all these three categories of countries that I mentioned—, plus dealing most seriously with the root causes. Apart from the war in Syria being a cause of the flow of refugees, you have also the fact that we do not receive more than around 40% of the assistance, the money we need for doing our programs in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. This means that the conditions of life for people in those countries where they first enter are so poor that they continue to travel to Europe.

    I heard about a family who went from Aleppo because their five children couldn’t go to school, none of them could go to school in Aleppo. They fled to Lebanon, in Baalbek, and there the schools were overcrowded, so they couldn’t take their kids to school which was the primary reason for them to leave. So they continued to Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and so forth. Because we didn’t have enough assistance to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey to make the lives reasonably well for them to stay until hopefully, one day, we will see normalization. So that’s my take on migration. We will continue to be active, of course with UNHCR in the lead, but several other parts of the UN system will be involved. More…

  • AGERPRES Director General attends 24th ABNA-SE General Assembly meeting

    AGERPRES National News Agency Director General Alexandru Giboi attended the 24th General Assembly meeting of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies of Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) themed ‘Twenty years of ABNA – Challenges and Opportunities’ held in Sarajevo, on which occasion he voiced his support for a future candidacy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina News Agency (FENA) to become a member of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA). More….

  • AGERPRES general director elected in EANA Board

    The General Assembly of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) elected as member of its Board Alexandru Giboi, general director of AGERPRES, in an unanimous vote on Friday. It was a first at EANA for a representative of Romania’s national news agency. More…

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