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Onanuga elected into FAAPA Executive Council


Casablanca   –   The managing director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Bayo Onanuga  has been elected into Executive Council of the Atlantic Federation of African News Agencies (FAAPA)

The election took place on Friday at the third General Assembly of the three year old organization in Casablanca, Morocco.

The head of Cape Verde news agency was similarly elected into the governing council that now has nine members, two more than was elected at the inauguration of the group.

Mr. Onanuga attended the general assembly of the group for the first time.

Head of Moroccan news agency, Mr. Khalil Hachimi Idrissi was re-elected as president of the group, along with Mrs Oumou Barry Sana, head of the Ivorian News Agency as the vice-president.

FAAPA, which was established on 14 October 2014, with headquarters in Rabat, Morocco is a professional platform for Africa’s news agencies dedicated to the promotion of exchange of experiences and information, training of personnel, and sharing of ideas on the future of news agencies in the age of social media networks.

The group now has 28 members , with links with Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies and News Agencies World Congress.

FAAPA maintains a website, www.faapa.org that aggregates some of the stories published by the member agencies.

One of the major highlights of the third assembly was the discussion on the impact of social networks on the news agencies and how the agencies can integrate the networks into their work.

The leaders of the African news agencies unanimously recognised the indisputable impact of social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter,  in terms of audience and influence and came to the conclusion that these new modes of communication must be fully integrated into their operation by adapting them to the requirements of professional ethics and practice.

As Mr. Onanuga told the assembly: “With the social networks commanding humongous followers and users, news agencies can only ignore them either to die or slump into irrelevance. We need the huge numbers to disseminate our news to a global audience, bigger than the audience in the global village envisioned by the Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan”.

Despite the proliferation of social networks and blogs, news agencies are more important than ever, said Onanuga, noting that the public needs “verified and reliable information that only news agencies can provide through the  very nature of their operation ”

The Assembly also awarded prizes for the best photograph and the best article published by the group’s website.

Mr. Asseu Yapo Severin of the Ivorian news agency won $1,000 for the best article , while Banzouzi Alexandrine of the Congolese news agency also won $1,000 for the best photograph.

Both the Ivorian Press Agency and The Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) agency later signed cooperation agreements with  NAN  to establish solid professional exchanges.

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