Asia News Network discusses past 20 years, future ahead

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : Apr 25, 2019 - 16:06
  • Updated : Apr 26, 2019 - 12:45

The Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 media companies across 20 Asian countries, had its board members gather Thursday at Lotte Hotel in Seoul to celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary and discuss its future direction at a time of closer regional cooperation on political, business and cultural fronts.

ANN was founded in 1999 with the founding members’ vision to deliver news about Asia through Asian eyes. “We know Asia better” has been the ANN’s longstanding motto.

Chon Shi-yong, chief editorial writer at The Korea Herald and chairman of ANN for 2018-2019, opened Thursday’s meeting with welcoming remarks.

From left are Christoph Grabitz, director of KAS Media Asia, Chon Shi-yong, chief editorial writer at The Korea Herald, and Pana Janviroj, executive director of Asia News Network. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

“ANN could exist as long as it has due to the members’ quality journalism and independence,” Chon said. “This meeting is crucial for determining where, and how, this alliance will be going.”

Chon sat flanked by Pana Janviroj, executive director of ANN, and Christoph Grabitz, director of KAS Media Asia.

KAS Media Asia is the media-focused arm of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German foundation related to but independent of the Christian Democratic Union political party. KAS has financed ANN.

Key topics on the table at the ANN board meeting included how the organization can become a sustainable, independent not-for-profit journalism organization. Active social media collaboration was raised on the agenda, as ANN’s members collectively have readership of over 50 million on Facebook alone -- indicating huge potential for the amplification of members’ stories.

Shefali Rekhi from the Straits Times delivers a speech on the founding of the Asia News Network. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Asia News Network board members celebrate the alliance’s 20th anniversary at a meeting held at Lotte Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul, Thursday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Also raised in the talks was how to overcome operational setbacks such as understanding different kinds of newsrooms, establishing a better network for communication and real-time story sharing, as well as branding ANN through journalism awards.

During the three-day visit to Korea that started Wednesday, ANN participated in the ASEAN-Korea Media Forum that it sponsored and met with President Moon Jae-in on Thursday. The board members are slated to visit Samsung Innovation Museum in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, as a part of a “Technology for Media” session Friday.

The members of ANN are: Bangladesh’s the Daily Star; Bhutan’s Kuensel; Brunei’s Brunei Press; Cambodia’s the Phnom Phen Post and Ramsei Kampuchea; China’s China Daily; Taiwan’s the China Post; India’s the Statesman; Indonesia’s the Jakarta Post; Japan‘s the Japan News; Laos’ Vientiane Times; Malaysia’s Sin Chew Daily and the Star Online; Mongolia’s Gogo Mongolia; Myanmar’s Eleven Media Group; Nepal’s the Kathmandu Post; Pakistan’s Dawn; Philippines’ Philippine Daily Inquirer; Singapore’s the Straits Times; South Korea’s The Korea Herald; Sri Lanka’s the Island; Thailand’s the Nation; and Vietnam’s Viet Nam News.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (