Accra,— The Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA) has ranked the Ghana News Agency first in 2021 for contributing the highest number of stories to the Federation’s common news website.

The GNA delivered 7,716 dispatches, followed by the Ivorian News Agency (AIP) with 5,300 dispatches and the Senegalese News Agency (APS) with 3,820 dispatches.

A total of 29,324 news items were received daily, with a daily average of 96.78, according to data compiled by the FAAPA from January 1 to October 31, 2021.

The Secretary-General of FAAPA, Mr Mohammed Anis, who announced the information to the Ghana News Agency, encouraged the state-owned wire service, which had placed second in the past two consecutive years to continue to give of its best.

Established in October 2014, the FAAPA is a professional platform that brings together 30 news agencies and observer members from across the continent.

The various activities undertaken by FAAPA in the fields related to information and communication, training and multimedia have strongly contributed to developing professional relations among African news agencies within the framework of South-South cooperation.

It also aims to increase the presence and brand of the Federation both in Africa and internationally, enabling the public direct access to information on African countries.

Responding to questions via an email interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Khalil Hachimi Idrissi, the President of the FAAPA, encouraged members of the pan-African federation to contribute more to the development of the FAPPA site and to feed it daily with articles and photos.

That, he said, would help to inform internet users around the world and to highlight the activities of African news agencies.

“In this regard, it was agreed to proceed with the refresh, makeover and update of the FAAPA website and to further contribute to the enrichment of its content,” he said.

“This pan-African federation was born from an ‘ethical and moral requirement’ because of the flow of information manipulated by powerful international networks,” the President emphasised.

When African news agencies developed a dynamic culture of providing good and professional journalism and cross-checked information, he noted, they would be able to reverse the wave of fake-news, which was negatively impacting information dissemination.

“The main challenge today is how to cope with the flood of information produced and disseminated on the net and social networks…. This state of affairs is not only a challenge for the press agencies but also for the States, because it is indeed a question of the preservation of national sovereignty,” he emphasised.

To preserve national sovereignty, Mr Idrissi called for the consolidation of the public service and the strengthening and support of news agencies, which he said, were professional structures endowed with ethics and networks.

He urged public authorities to support these news agencies and to provide them with the financial means to ensure their upgrading and development.

He identified the most pressing problems facing African news agencies as the lack of financial and human resources, the need to strengthen skills in fact-checking and the fight against fake news, a better training of journalists in the production of innovative content, and the increase in African information on the web through the integration of social networks.

Mr Idrissi said it had become imperative to rethink the economic model of African news agencies and the written press, in general, in the wake of the economic recession occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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