By Esra Kaymak Avci
BALTIMORE, United States (AA) – Anadolu Agency has used the largest annual gathering of American Muslims to present its new Anadolu World Report News Package.
The launch was held on Saturday during the 41st annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America - Muslim American Society (ICNA-MAS) in Baltimore, Maryland.
Leading American Muslim NGOs as well as tens of thousands of Muslims from across the U.S. visited the site where Anadolu Agency opened a stand in the convention area to introduce the package, which focuses on news from the Islamic world.
During a speech at the launch, Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director General and Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoglu told the audience that the news package would deliver political, economic, cultural and social news from the Islamic world to its subscribers in English, Arabic and Turkish.
Mutanoglu said the project was important in terms of filling the gap for media from the Muslim world, adding that it came about when Anadolu Agency recognized that there were no strong agencies among Muslims to cover news about themselves.
"We hope that this new project will be a news bridge between Muslims," he said.
Mutanoglu added that although the launch of the news package was a small step, it should be considered as the beginning of bigger projects.
"It will grow with our young people, with our youth – inshallah – in the future," he said.
Speaking after Mutanoglu, ICNA President Naeem Baig said that one of the challenges facing the American Muslim community was the "absence of a Muslim voice" in U.S. mainstream media.
Therefore, he said, Anadolu Agency's new project would not only be beneficial for the American Muslim community but also for larger societies in the world as "that is the voice that we need [...] for a really balanced news media and news coverage and [to] get the right message.
"That is something that we are looking forward to."
Baig described the news package as a product of a "responsible media" that covers the challenges that the Islamic world faces, such as Islamophobia, and addresses the issues of injustices that happen in different societies.
Another visitor to Anadolu Agency's stand, Secretary General of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations Oussama Jammal, said he welcomed the news package, adding it was a "great opportunity" for American Muslims to voice their opinions.
"Media in today's world are the eyes and the ears and the mouth and the voice to bring to us the news, to bring to us the stories from around the world," he said. "We look forward to seeing you around and working with you."
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) President Azhar Azeez stated that the new package of Anadolu Agency would be able "to present a very balanced picture" to the American Muslim diaspora.
"I welcome you and I hope and I pray that you will be successful," he said.
Following the speeches, Anadolu Agency's Sales Marketing and Business Development Director Nedim Kaya made a presentation over the package at the stand.
With the new Anadolu World Report News Package, subscribers will be able to easily follow important and breaking news in the Islamic world, watch live broadcasts, track an events calendar and have access to exclusive interviews with Muslim leaders conducted by Anadolu Agency’s extensive regional and global network of journalists.
In addition to analytical reports, a constantly updated, searchable and indexed photography catalogue and collections will also be available. Subscribers can view images related to important programs and dates in the Islamic world and watch edited videos.
The package is considered to be the first specialized news offering about developments in the Muslim world.