Unity against fake news
Posted on November 15th, 2022

By Mohammad Shojaeian Courtesy Teheran Times

It was attended by about 60 managing directors and senior editors of news agencies from 35 countries that are members to OANA.

OANA was founded in 1961 at the initiative of UNESCO. Its purpose is to secure direct and free exchange of news between news agencies from countries that account for half of the world’s population.

The organization was formed through the establishment of an NGO between Asia and the Pacific media outlets and its focus is on issues and conditions of media outlets and journalists.

One of its achievements since the organization began working is the establishment of media agreements between members. This has increased the quality and accuracy of the news pieces related to the member countries.

In recent years, due to expansion of social media and an increase in fake news, especially in the field of the coronavirus pandemic, OANA has considered a special role for itself, which included training courses in the field of news related to Covid-19 to exchanging knowledge and experience.  

Likewise, it made efforts to support the journalists who were harmed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Holding a photo exhibition and sharing experiences were for this purpose.In the OANA meeting also a great emphasis was put on confronting fake news. It was also emphasized that in the atmosphere of the coronavirus pandemic the news agencies should strictly adhere to the agreement they have signed with each other.

Suggestions were also made that the media can count on each other’s accuracy in covering the news of their countries. All news agencies can refer to their peer media to check the news related to the target country and use that to check the authenticity of the news.This is a very important issue, especially regarding Iran, which can be considered the biggest victim of fake news in the world.

If the official OANA members fully adhere to the issue of verification, they can refer to Iranian news agencies. This approach will significantly help them to verify their news.

In that condition the fake news have no place. During the last month, the mainstream media in the West has presented a bogus image of Iran to the world, an image that shows Iran is drowning in insecurity. However, about 60 senior journalists who attended the conference directly observed security and peace in Iran coupled with progresses in various fields in the country.

They realized that there is a significant difference between the real Iran” and what the Western media and fake news propagate.

The OANA participants’ appreciation for the warm hospitality of the Iranians and their satisfaction with the content of the topics discussed demonstrate the success of the 18th meeting. In a situation in which the West is trying to isolate Iran and present a bogus image of Iran, the summit succeeded to provide an opportunity for the managers of prominent news agencies to directly see the realities.

The discussions at the meeting and the feedback by participants proved that fake news should be countered with more seriously and that closer cooperation between OANA members can be very effective to achieve this goal.

*By Mohammad Shojaeian, Managing Director of Mehr Media Group

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