By Ahmet Gencturk, Derya Gulnaz Ozcan
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AA) - The Association of the Balkan News Agencies-Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) on Wednesday agreed to deepen cooperation and combat fake news.
On the third and final day of the conference of ABNA-SE that was hosted by Greece’s state-run AMNA news agency in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, it was decided by the member agencies that Anadolu will take over the presidency of the association in 2024.
President of AMNA Aimilios Perdikaris gifted Anadolu’s Director General Serdar Karagoz, who represented the Turkish news agency along with Editor-in-Chief Yusuf Ozhan, a book, titled Ottoman Architecture in Greece.
In return, Karagoz presented Perdikaris a model of a photograph machine made of recyclable material and thanked him for his and AMNA’s solidarity with Türkiye after its 11 provinces were hit by twin quakes on Feb. 6.
During the meeting, projects that will be carried out by ABNA-SE in 2023 were determined and scheduled. It was decided that the board of directors of ABNA-SE would be composed of Aandolu, KosovoPress, AMNA as well as Bulgaria’s BTA news agencies
Italy’s state-run news agency ANSA was also accepted to ABNA-SE.
Furthermore, the next general assembly of the ABNA-SE was decided to be held in Istanbul in 2024.
Speaking to Anadolu following the conclusion of the meeting, Perdikaris said that the assembly dealt with various matters, including combatting fake news and disinformation and deepening the cooperation between the member news agencies.
The increase in the number of news produced on social media brought a new major problem, the quality, and credibility of the news, he said, adding that ABNA-SE could serve as an important tool to deal with this problem.
Closer cooperation between the member news agencies would also allow neighboring societies to understand each other better, Perdikaris added.
He said that the agencies plan joint training programs in digital skills and security.
Kiril Valchev, the director general of BTA, also highlighted the importance of joint efforts against disinformation and fake news.
Drawing attention to the emerging institutional structure of ABNA-SE, he said it would enable ABNA-SE to benefit from EU funds.