The commission of the general secretariat of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA) ended today a two-day meeting in Riyadh hosted by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The commission made a number of recommendations, including that Arab news agencies should establish departments for graphic services, in order to broaden their activities; and that training courses on graphic work should be held, in collaboration with those news agencies that have experience in this respect. In addition, the commission urged Arab news agencies which have not yet established economic departments to take the required steps to do so, and called for the establishment of a weekly economic bulletin to be transmitted through their domestic networks. The commission, welcoming the idea of establishing a specialized training center under the supervision of FANA, declared that it will act as the center's board of trustees and define its activities.
In his keynote address, SPA's Director-General Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Khudeir underscored the importance of such meetings in increasing coherence and cooperation among the Arab news agencies, adding that the current accelerated technological advancement can be deepened through such contact.
In his opening address to the commission yesterday, Information Minister Dr. Fu'ad Ibn Abdulsalaam Al-Farsi remarked on the fast pace of advancement in the field of information, communications and data transfer, saying this requires the ability to accommodate and understand the nature of the era in order to deal with such developments. There are, he said, only a few international news agencies dominating the field of news collection and distribution, while the national and regional news agencies are competing with each other in narrow areas. The role of the Arab news agencies, in his view is: " to provide up-to-date and useful material to our people through objective press and sincere media that match with the nature of the Arab people based on its great Islamic faith and genuine Arab and Islamic traditions." Dr. Al-Farsi went on to call for cooperation among Arab news agencies, for verification of the facts, and for news to be taken only from reliable sources.