- Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies

(No. 01/16)
8.1 – FANA
8.2 - EANA
The IUCN is attached.
Compiled by George Penintaex
CNA Acting Director/Editor-in-Chief
AMAN Secretary General
The 24th General Assembly of AMAN was held on 13 October 2015 in
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, hosted by MENA.
The official opening of the two days of deliberations took place on 12
October 2015.
There were welcome speeches by South Sinai Governor Maj. Gen. Khalid
Fouda (speech was read out for him by his spokesman Mr. Abdel Fattah
Helmy) and MENA Board Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Alaa Heidar. Mrs
Rosario Pons, on behalf of the outgoing President EFE, and AMAN
Secretary General George Penintaex, Acting Director & Editor-in-Chief of
CNA, addressed the inaugural session.
The Chairman of the Tourism Promotion Authority Mr. Sami Mahmoud
read out a speech of the Minister of Tourism Mr. Hisham Zaazou.
The inaugural session was followed by a seminar, which was divided into
two workshops, as follows:
1st workshop: The role of media in combating extremism and
terrorism in the Mediterranean region
2nd workshop: Protecting Journalists at Mediterranean’s flash points
and areas of tension
The opening ceremony of the event, hosted by MENA, was chaired by Mr.
Alaa Heider, MENA Board Chairman and Editor-in-Chief.
Mr. Heider welcomed all members and wished them a pleasant stay in
Sharm El Sheikh.
The Secretary General Mr. George Penintaex thanked Mr. Heider, Mr.
Tarek Abdel Ghaffar, Mr. Kahled Ghobashy and MENA’s staff for the warm
hospitality and the excellent organisation of the AMAN GA and the seminar
held in Sharm El Sheikh.
The Follow Up Committee met on 15 April 2015, in Cairo, attended by
MENA, EFE, WAFA and CNA. The Committee decided the draft agenda of
the 24th General Assembly of AMAN. Another meeting of the Follow Up
Committee, with the same composition, was held before the General
Assembly in Sharm El Sheikh.
Deliberations were completed in one day. The GA authorized the AMAN
Secretary General to prepare the Final Report and send it to the members
and observers by e-mail. A deadline will be given to members and
observers to suggest any changes in the Final Report before it is
considered approved.
Mr. Penintaex said that 16 out of 19 news agencies had declared their
readiness to participate in 24th GA but TANJUG of Serbia informed him at
the last minute that its representative could not arrive in Sharm El Sheikh
as he missed the plane because of bad weather conditions. He welcomed
the TASS representatives as their agency acts currently as President of
OANA, which enjoys the status of Observer at the AMAN GA.
Finally 15 member agencies were present, thus constituting a quorum
under the AMAN Statutes. Four member agencies, namely HINA, LANA,
LUSA and TANJUG, did not participate. Three Observers, namely EANA,
FANA and IPS were not present either.
The list of participants is attached as appendix I.
The draft agenda prepared by the Follow-Up Committee was approved
unanimously without any changes.
The agenda is attached as appendix II.
Mrs Rosario Pons, on behalf of EFE, the outgoing President of AMAN,
thanked MENA for its warm and wonderful hospitality, and for the
excellent organization of the AMAN deliberations.
Mrs Pons referred to the two seminars organized by EFE, during its
1. The first was held in collaboration with Casa del Mediterraneo
between 10-11 June 2014, during the AMAN GA in Alicante, Spain.
It was divided into three sessions, under the following titles:
Communication and Diplomacy, Immigration and borders on
Mediterranean in the XII Century and Innovation and
2. The second was held with the support of the European Institute of
the Mediterranean and in collaboration with the Union for the
Mediterranean, between 28-29 April 2015 in Barcelona. This
seminar, which was addressed to journalists from member-agencies
was under the title: “Journalism and Social media: Challenges in a
changing region”.
Handing over the Presidency to Mr. Heider, Mrs Pons wished MENA every
Mrs Pons speech is attached as appendix III.
Mr. Heider thanked Mrs Pons and EFE for having the post of AMAN
President and their contribution. He said MENA, during its Presidency, will
try to find more ways of cooperation and link together all news agencies in
the Mediterranean region.
Mr. Penintaex thanked EFE and Mrs Pons for a successful Presidency in the
past year and congratulated Mr. Heider for undertaking the Presidency of
AMAN, wishing him every success. He said the AMAN FUC was ready to
study any proposals and projects to the benefit of member agencies, in
specific, and the Alliance, in general.
AMAN Secretary General, Acting Director/Editor-in-Chief of CNA,
Mr. George Penintaex presented his report on the activities of AMAN, since
the 23rd General Assembly, which he had circulated to the member
agencies and observers.
The report was approved unanimously. It is attached as appendix IV.
He also presented his report on the AMAN Fund, which was also approved
unanimously. It is attached as appendix V.
Mr. Penintaex presented a list of the membership contributions made by
AMAN member agencies for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Mrs Laure Sleiman, Director of NNA, said the payment from NNA is being
delayed by the Ministry of Information, expressing the hope that very
soon the money would be transferred to the AMAN Fund.
Mr. Ahmad Dawa, Director General of SANA, thanked the AMAN Secretary
General for his tolerance of these years. He said because of the sanctions
imposed on Syria, SANA could not transfer the money outside the
Mr. Dawa complained that during the war SANA has been bombarded and
six journalists have been killed but no statement was made by AMAN. As
he said, we have to overcome and be away from political issues. He noted
yesterday, during the seminar on journalists' security in war zones no one
mentioned the killing of SANA’s journalists.
The Secretary General Mr. Penintaex clarified to Mr. Dawa that “there is
no exemption to the AMAN rules. AMAN membership fees must be paid by
SANA. We understand the circumstances in Syria. No one can resist to
that and we are very well aware of the situation. But even with the
existence of sanctions, there are ways to solve the problem”. He
suggested that Mr. Dawa could give cash money to Mrs Sleiman of NNA
in order to transfer them into AMAN’s account, or even himself could bring
with him cash money.
Mr. Dawa promised to make efforts to transfer the money out of Syria in
an official way.
Mrs Sleiman said Mr. Dawa could travel to Lebanon and make the
payments through any Bank.
Mr. Penintaex said he relies on Mr. Dawa's promise to transfer the money,
as no member agency would like to implement certain provisions in
AMAN's Statutes about an agency that fails to pay its membership fees.
Commenting on Mr. Dawa's complaint about the killing of SANA
journalists, Mr. Penintaex said the Alliance had received no information
from SANA regarding the killing of journalists. As a matter of principle,
Mr. Penintaex reminded, AMAN protests the killings of journalists,
anywhere in the world.
Mr. Ghaffar said there would be no discrimination if SANA announced the
killing of the journalists and AMAN could make recommendations if
something bad happened to any journalist from member states, recalling
what happened in the past in Sharm El Sheikh.
AMAN funding - Proposals
Mr. Penintaex informed the General Assembly that the AMAN Fund
receives approximately 25.000 US dollars every year from membership
fees. He said the Alliance's economic situation allows us to spend part of it
in order to help and encourage all member agencies to be able to host a
General Assembly. The matter was also discussed and agreed upon by the
Proposal 1: AMAN General Assembly*
As from next year (2016) the host agency of a General Assembly will be
sponsored by the AMAN Fund with 10.000 US dollars, in order to cover
part of its expenses that include hotel accommodation, meals and
interpretation. Each agency participates with up to two delegates.
Proposal 2: AMAN spring seminar*
As from next year, the agency that presides over the Alliance at the time
will be sponsored by the AMAN Fund with 5.000 US dollars, in order to
cover part of its expenses to host a seminar addressed to agency staff
members (journalism, photographers, IT people). Each agency
participates with one delegate.
* Irrespective of the AMAN sponsorship, the host agencies could find other
sponsors too.
The AMAN GA approved both proposals.
Mr. Tarek announced that within its Presidency of AMAN, MENA will
organise the 2016 spring seminar/workshop, under the title “Economics of
Mr. Aloui Chaouki said the topic is very good but those seminars are more
targeted to journalists, adding that the proposed seminar on “Economics
of Media” is not the first concern but rather concern for the management.
Mr. Tarek explained how important the economic factor is for the media
and especially for the news agencies that constantly look for new financial
Mr. Penintaex recalled that the spring seminar is always addressed to
agency staff and not to the agency heads. So, we must find the way to
adjust the seminar to news agencies staff.
He said the spring seminar is not a close activity only for AMAN members.
If the host agency would like to invite people other than the AMAN
member agencies, there is no problem.
Mr. Penintaex clarified that the seminar should last two days. The
language to be used is English.
AMAN Webmaster, Mr. Roger Semaan, NNA Director of Internet and
Satellite, presented his reports on the website traffic and the contributions
to the Med News Bulletin, since the 23rd G.A.
His report is attached as appendix VI.
Mr. Penintaex thanked Mr. Roger for his free of charge AMAN website. He
also thanked NNA and especially Mrs Laure Sleiman for hosting AMAN
Mr. Penintaex urged the AMAN member agencies to send news items in
three languages, English, French and Arabic, but not related to politics. He
also invited them to contribute with photos too.
Mobile application
Te Secretary General recalled the discussion in the previous General
Assembly about the introduction of mobile applications for AMAN. He said
the mobile app would be a reflection of the AMAN website, in order to
avoid any intervention.
Mrs Nabila Zayati, ANSA Project Manager Mediterranean & Arabic Market,
said she has no objection for the introduction of mobile applications for
AMAN. She wondered whether there would be a guarantee for the
agencies’ photos when posting them on the AMAN website. She said there
would be a mechanism not to allow the photo downloading, as there are
matters of copyright.
Mr. Christian Chaise, AFP Director of Middle East & North Africa also raised
the matter of photo copyright.
Taking into consideration what ANSA and AFP had said, Mr. Penintaex
asked Mr. Semaan to take a note of these worries and to do his best to
guarantee the copyright and avoid photo downloading.
Mr. Semaan presented offers for mobile
companies based in Lebanon, as follows:
a) S&O Business Global (2.370 US dollars)
b) Anti Virus (2.185 US dollars)
c) OSITCOM (1.000 US dollars)
Since all three companies met the specifications, the General Assembly
decided to go ahead with OSITCOM with the lowest price.
The Secretary General announced that he had received a letter from Mr.
Khalil Hachimi Idrissi, MAP Director General, informing him of the
foundation of the Federation of Atlantic African Press Agencies (FAAPA)
and that this western African alliance would like to sign an agreement with
AMAN, exchanging observer status in General Assemblies.
Mr. Penintaex gave the floor to Mr. Idrissi, who is the current President of
Mr. Idrissi refferred to the establishment of FAAPA last year and the
scopes of this alliance. FAAPA consists of 19 news agencies.
Mr. Idrissi’s speech is attached as appendix VII.
Mr. Penintaex read out the articles of the agreement between AMAN and
FAAPA. The General Assembly approved the agreement, which was signed
by AMAN President, Mr. Heider, and FAAPA President, Mr. Idrissi, at the
end of the General Assembly.
Mr. Demetris Tziotis, Business Development of ATC, made a 15-minute
presentation of news agency business systems. ATC was a contributor of
the AMAN GA in Sharm El Sheikh with the amount of 3.000 euro.
The Secretary General welcomed Mr. Juan Maria Calvo, who presented a
project of the International Environmental Organisation IUCN.
The proposal of Mr. Calvo is attached as appendix VIII.
The General Assembly approved the IUCN proposal for cooperation with
The aim is to create a Mediterranean network for professional exchanges
and empowerment of journalism and media corporations towards nature
conservation a sustainable development.
As a first step, IUCN will host a workshop between 16-19 December 2015,
in Malaga, Spain. AMAN member-agencies will assign one journalist
specialising on environmental issues to participate in the workshop. All
expenses, including the air tickets will be covered by the organisers.
The Secretary General gave the floor to Mrs Edlira Petrela, Chief of
Foreign Relations of ATA, who expressed ATA's readiness to host the 25th
AMAN GA in Albania.
The AMAN GA welcomed ATA's willingness to organise the next AMAN GA.
Mr. Rachid Tijani, Director of Communication and Cooperation of MAP,
thanked MENA for the warm hospitality and the excellent organization of
the AMAN GA in Sharm El Sheikh.
Mr. Tijani proposed the 26th AMAN GA to be held in Morocco.
The AMAN GA welcomed MAP's willingness to host the 26th AMAN GA in
Mr. Penintaex informed the GA that no-one member agency had shown
interest in putting forward its candidacy for the post of the Secretary
Mr. Penintaex was re-elected unanimously Secretary General of AMAN for
the next three years.
Taking the floor, Mr. Penintaex thanked all AMAN member-agencies for
their trust, pledging to work hard to achieve AMAN’s goals.
The new Follow-Up Committee is composed by the following:
First Vice-President:
Second Vice-President:
Secretary General
The Secretary General announced the results of the 2014-2015 AMAN
competitions for the Best News Item and the Best Photo.
There were ten entries to the Best News Item competition (ANSA, APS,
ATA, CNA, EFE, LUSA, MAP, MENA, SANA, WAFA) and ten entries to the
Best Photo competition (ANSA, ATA, CNA, EFE, HINA, LUSA, MAP, MENA,
Mr. Heider, acting as new AMAN President, presented Diplomas to the
representatives of the winners.
The prize for the Best News Item was awarded to SANA’s entry titled
“The goddess of love and beauty, a symbol that endured for millennia of
human history,” written by Mr. Imad Dghli and translated into English by
Mrs Rasha Milhem. The Diplomas were received by Mr. Ahmad Dawa,
SANA Director General.
The prize for the Best Photo was awarded to HINA’s entry. Photographer
Mr. Damir Sencar could not attend the ceremony. His photo shows a
church and a graveyard flooded by water.
EFE’s entry for the news item titled “Ancient Egypt: The perks of being an
Egyptologist in Luxor”, won a Distinction Certificate. It was written by Edu
Marin. The Diploma was received by Mrs Rosario Pons.
TANJUG’s photo entry won a Distinction Certificate. Mr. Srdjan Ilic’s photo
shows Serbia’s Government Ministries and religious dignitaries try to fast
wear rain suits as torrential rain suddenly hits Belgrade during a military
parade in honour of visit Russian Persident Vladimir Putin.” Mr. Srdjan Ilic
could not attend the ceremony.
The AMAN Secretary General congratulated the winners and encouraged
all AMAN members to participate in the competitions.
The winning news item and photos will be published in AMAN’s Newsletter
and posted on AMAN’s website after the General Assembly.
Mr. Penintaex informed the AMAN members that any member or observer
participating in the EANA GA, has so far had to pay participation fee and
all expenses, air tickets and accommodation on their own. But last
September, the EANA GA accepted a request from FANA, abolishing the
participation fee for the observers.
Mr. Penintaex explained that the EANA decision involves all alliances,
including AMAN, that have cooperation agreements with EANA. So, the
agreement between AMAN - EANA will be changed.
The 24th AMAN GA approved unanimously the following motion of thanks:
 To EFE for holding the post of AMAN President for one year.
 To WAFA for holding the post of the First Vice-President of AMAN.
 To MENA for holding the post of the Second Vice-President of
 To the Follow Up Committee for its cooperation and guidance since
the 23rd GA.
 To NNA for acting as AMAN webmaster.
 To the speakers of the seminar held in Sharm El Sheikh.
 To the interpreters in English and Arabic of the seminar and the GA
in Sharm El Sheikh.
 All the member agencies for their contributions, suggestions and
 To all sponsors of the AMAN GA and seminar.
George Penintaex
Acting Director/Editor-in-Chief CNA
Secretary General AMAN
AMAN urges Serbian Government to reverse decision
of TANJUG’s closure
The Mediterranean Alliance of News Agencies (AMAN) expresses its
opposition to the closure of the Public Enterprise News Agency Tanjug and
strongly urges the government of Serbia to reverse its decision to
discontinue Tanjug’s operations.
The decision has shocked AMAN member-agencies as Tanjug had been
one of the most active agencies in the Mediterranean Alliance, as well as
in other news agency alliances.
AMAN expresses its solidarity with Tanjug’s Director Branka Djukic and
staff, hoping that the government of Serbia will make second thoughts
and find solutions aimed to keep this historic news agency alive, as an
independent news provider for media at home and abroad.
AMAN Follow Up Committee:
MENA (Egypt)
EFE (Spain)
ATA (Albania)
CNA (Cyprus)
Directors General
of AMAN Member Agencies
Dear Colleagues,
I hereby invite participation in the AMAN competitions for best news item
and best photo for the year 2015, in accordance with the rules adopted by
the General Assembly of AMAN, as below:
Entries must refer to themes concerning the Mediterranean
Entries must have been published by the submitting member
news agency during the last 12 months prior to 15 December
Each member news agency may participate in
competitions with one news item and one photo only.
Entries must reach the Secretary General of AMAN, Acting
Director General of CNA Mr. George Penintaex by March 15,
2016. His e-mail address is: director@cna.org.cy
News items and photo captions must be translated into
English by submitting member news agency.
News items must not exceed 1200 words.
Photos can be in colour or black and white.
Photo captions must not exceed 100 words.
Photos and captions must be sent to the Secretary General of
AMAN by e-mail.
According to the rules, the Secretary General of AMAN will send copies of
all entries to the members of the Follow-Up Committee one week after the
closing date. The Follow-Up Committee, at its meeting in April 2016, will
choose the winners from the entries submitted in accordance with the
rules and will announce the winners at the following General Assembly in
2016. During the General Assembly a brief ceremony will be held for
presentation of the awards to the two winners who will be invited by the
host agency to spend a week in its country.
On behalf of the President of AMAN and all members of the Follow-Up
Committee I strongly urge all member news agencies of AMAN to
participate in the competitions and comply with the rules mentioned
AMAN Member Agencies are kindly asked to pay their outstanding
membership fees in one of the two accounts below:
Bank of Cyprus Ltd
P.O. BOX 21472
1599 Nicosia – Cyprus
Account no.: 0174-41-008503-06
IBAN no.: CY09 0020 0174 0000 0041 0085 0306
Bank of Cyprus Ltd
P.O. BOX 21472
1599 Nicosia - Cyprus
Account no.: 357018620192
IBAN no.: CY52 0020 0195 0000 3570 1862 0192
Mediterranean news agencies coordinating
environmental information
News agencies from both shores of the Mediterranean met in Malaga with
regional environmental organisations to discuss the challenges facing
environmental reporting. More than 50 participants, including journalists
from 15 countries, discussed how cooperation can be reinforced towards a
better environmental knowledge base and awareness raising activities
from a journalistic perspective.
This first Mediterranean forum was organised by EFE in cooperation with
the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN) and the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Centre for
Mediterranean Cooperation. The meeting was hosted at the Municipal
Museum of Cultural Heritage (MUPAM) in Malaga.
The meeting resulted in a declaration advocating for the establishing of a
partnership to provide mechanisms for cooperation among environmental
and scientific information professionals from Mediterranean countries. The
creation of a media network to promote better and coordinated scientific
and environmental press coverage at Mediterranean level was one of the
key objectives.
The Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, opened the meeting with
George Penintaex, Secretary General of AMAN; Antonio Troya, Head of the
IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation; and Arturo Larena, Director
of EFEverde (EFEgreen), EFE's global environmental news platform.
Mr Penintaex emphasised the role of news agencies, noting that their
extensive networks for covering news from the Mediterranean basin make
them a basic source of knowledge for the citizens in the countries of the
From AMAN there were participants from AA, AFP, ANA-MPA, APS
(Algeria), ATA, CNA, EFE, HINA, LUSA, MAP (Morocco), NNA (Lebanon),
TAP (Tunisia) and TANJUG.
The IUCN declaration is attached.
1st Meeting of Environmental
Journalists from News Agencies in the Mediterranean
Malaga, 17-18 December 2015
Speech by AMAN Secretary General and
CNA Acting Director/Editor-in-Chief Mr. George Penintaex
Dear Mr. Mayor, Dear Vice Minister
Dear guests and participants
It is my pleasure to be here with you today, representing the
Mediterranean Alliance of News Agencies (AMAN).
The first step towards this cooperation was taken by my dear friend Juan
Maria Calvo, who wrote to me a letter some months ago, suggesting a
connection between IUCN and AMAN.
The matter was raised at the AMAN General Assembly which was held in
October in Sharm El Sheikh, hosted by the Middle East News Agency
Juan was invited at the AMAN General Assembly and had the chance to
explain in detail the whole project and the idea to involve AMAN. A
unanimous decision was taken by the General Assembly and here we are.
Almost all member-agencies of AMAN are represented in this meeting. I
am here too, as AMAN Secretary General, to show that the Mediterranean
national news agencies take seriously this initiative and are willing to
make their contribution. The national news agencies are the best tool and
means to disseminate information because they have the best network at
home and they can influence the public opinion and the decision-makers.
At the same time, I can admit that environment is not the first -and
sometimes not the last- concern of the news agencies in the region.
The Mediterranean basin is a mosaic of nations, cultures, civilizations,
languages, religions and mentalities. The history of this turbulent region
is full of wars and hatred.
Someone could say that under the current situation in some parts of the
Mediterranean the issue of the environment is actually a non-issue. It is
luxury even to think about it. They pay little or no attention to this issue
or the attention they pay is on the opposite direction. They destroy it.
The IUCN initiative comes at the right moment, trying to reverse the trend
I described before.
We need to make many efforts, joint and concerted efforts, and overcome
inabilities, inactions and lack of interest.
I consider this meeting very important, hoping that it will lay the
foundation to take action, to pass from words to deeds.
I hope that the Malaga meeting will come out with a declaration that could
be a road map for all of us, urging all factors to play their role and make
their contribution to a better and sustainable environment in the
The participants of this meeting most of whom are journalists specializing
on environmental issues, could act as ambassadors of this campaign.
We aspire to see this effort yielding concrete results to the benefit of our
countries and the future generations in this vulnerable area.
You may consider AMAN as a good partner of this campaign.
We are open to suggestions and proposals on how AMAN, collectively, and
the AMAN member agencies, individually, could contribute towards a
better, protected and sustainable environment in the Mediterranean
I would like to express sincere thanks to the Mayor, the Vice Minister, the
IUCN and EFE for the excellent organization of this meeting and the warm
hospitality extended to all of us.
I wish every success in your deliberations.
6.1 AA
Mr. SENOL KAZANCI has been appointed new Chairman of the Board and
Director General of Anadolu Agency.
Mr. Kazanci, 39, had served as head of corporate communications
department at the Turkish Presidency. He also served as an advisor to
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was also the principal consultant
when Erdogan was the Prime Minister.
Mr. Kazanci, replaces Mr. Kemal Ozturk, who resigned from his post on 1
December 2014.
Mr. Kazanci was born in Istanbul in 1975, but he is originally from Yomra
district in Turkey's northeastern Trabzon province.
He did his early schooling at the Kartal Anatolian Imam Hatip High School
in Istanbul. Later, he studied law at Istanbul University and got further
education in the U.S.
In 2007, he became the chief editor of the Turkish television channel, TV
Net. He also wrote articles for the daily Yeni Safak until 2011, when he
was appointed as Erdogan’s principal consultant during Erdogan’s service
as Prime Minister.
Mr. Kazanci went on to serve as a key advisor when Erdogan became
Mr. Kazanci is married and has two daughters. He speaks English and
AA Photo Awards
Anadolu has initiated Istanbul Photo Awards described as a new
international awards competition for news and sports photojournalists.
Entries are accepted between November 1 and January 31. The jury will
be composed of world-renowned editors, publishers and photojournalists,
the agency said.
Official website of Istanbul Photo Awards:
Applicants can submit photos until January 31
Members of the jury of the second "Istanbul Photo Awards" was
announced Monday.
The second "Istanbul Photo Awards" -- the international news and sports
contest organized by Anadolu Agency -- will take place in 2016.
Director of the Shanghai Center of Photography Liu Heung Shing, Getty
Images executive Georges De Keerle, AFP director of photo business
development Michel Scotto, as well as Guillaume Herbaut, a World Press
Photo prize winner, Anadolu Agency visual news editor-in-chief Ahmet Sel
and photography editor Firat Yurdakul return as jury members.
Pulitzer laureate Daniel Berehulak joins this year’s jury as the 2014
winner of the competition’s "Photo of the Year" prize as well as Newsweek
magazine photo editor James Wellford, director of photography at French
newspaper Le Monde Nicolas Jimenez, and Laurent Van der Stockt, who
has been awarded the Excellence-Journalism Prize from Columbia
The jury members are scheduled to come together in Istanbul in March to
announce the winners of Turkey’s only international news and sports
photography contest.
They will determine the winner of "Photo of the Year 2015" prize and the
winners in "News single", "News story", "Sports single", and "Sports story"
Last year’s competition received around 12,000
photographers based in more than 100 countries.
The outstanding images of 2014 have been published in the Istanbul
Photo Awards 2014 book.
Daniel Berehulak’s photograph on the Ebola epidemic in Liberia is the
cover photo. Taken for The New York Times, the image captures the
drama of the outbreak and was selected as photo of the year 2014.
The deadline for entries in the Istanbul Photo Awards is Jan. 31. A
combined $58,000 in prize money are to be distributed to the first, second
and third placed photographers in each of the four categories and to the
winner of the photo of the year.
AFP Live Reports on ScribbleLive
AFP announced that the agency’s Live Reports will be available on
Scribblelive’s real-time content platform. The AFP Live Reports offer realtime coverage in text, photo, video, graphics and tweets, plus
contributions from AFP journalists on the ground.
“AFP subscribers will be able to offer their readers a richer and more
personalised live coverage of events by using the platform to post AFP’s
Live Reports along with their own content and contributions from social
networks”, the agency said in a press release.
The agency said it has produced more than 200 live coverages in 2015
including the November 13 attacks in Paris. AFP has opened an
@afp_livereports Twitter account that shows the schedule of live reports
and their opening and closing times.
“Live Reports fit perfectly into AFP’s mission to produce reliable
information as quickly as possible,” said Chairman and CEO Emmanuel
Hoog. “AFP is a pioneer of real-time coverage and is developing and
strengthening its live news coverage. By partnering with ScribbleLive the
agency is making its content available on this global market leader’s
AFP’s live reports are available in three languages – French, English and
AFP taking torture of correspondent to supreme court
AFP and Radio France Internationale (RFI) said that faced with a lack of
any action following an attack on their Burundi correspondent Esdras
Ndikumana on August 2 as he carried out his work, they have filed a
complaint for torture against persons unknown at the supreme court in
Following protests, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza issued a
statement condemning “the unacceptable behaviour in a country with the
rule of law” towards Esdras Ndikumana by agents of the National
Intelligence Service (SNR).
Nothing happened following this statement and a second protest from AFP
and RFI. This silence led AFP and RFI to go to court in support of their
correspondent saying the prompt completion of the investigation as an
absolute condition for the re-establishment of confidence in the respect of
rule of law and freedom of expression in Burundi. Only the prosecution
and sentencing of the perpetrators will provide Esdras Ndikumana, who is
still undergoing treatment abroad two months after the assault, with the
minimum guarantees that he can return to his country to work without
fearing for his physical safety.
AFP and EBU in video cooperation
Eurovision and AFP subsidiary AFP-Services, announced they are
developing a new service, MyWorldReporter. “The new offering will help
broadcasters around the world to gain a competitive advantage by being
able to instantly access a worldwide network of video journalists”, AFP
“Sourcing high-quality footage from the most remote places will become
easier than ever by using a new, simple online booking tool available
around the clock on the eurovision.net portal. Each video journalist has
unified training by AFP-Services to combine the roles of cameraman,
editor, reporter and producer”, AFP said in a press release.
“We’re really happy to further our partnership with Eurovision”, said Jon
Dillon, Managing Director of AFP-Services. “We’re very excited to put our
global network of video journalists within easy access to broadcasters
worldwide. The MyWorldReporter platform allows any broadcaster to book
quickly and easily a video journalist anywhere in the world, within
minutes. This new system takes away the difficulties of organising
coverage away from the usual territory of operations.”
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is an alliance of public service
media with 73 active members in 56 countries across Europe and beyond.
The EBU says it is devoted to strengthening public service media and
providing first-class media services through Eurovision and Euroradio.
AFP Syrian video freelancer awarded
AFP video stringer in Syria, Zein Al-Rifai, has won the Rory Peck Award
that was launched 20 years ago to recognise the best freelance
cameramen and women.
From June 2014 to February 2015, Zein Al-Rifai covered the daily lives of
people living in the rebel-held zone of Aleppo.
“Zein Al-Rifai is 28 and married; he was an anti-Assad activist at the start
of the revolution before co-founding the Aleppo Media Center. His friends
and colleagues taught him how to use a video camera. Since then he has
worked as a stringer for several international media including AFP, to
which he regularly contributes. In August 2015, he was seriously injured
while covering fighting between rebels and government forces north of
Aleppo”, AFP said in a press release.
AFP photojournalist appointed Wire Service Photographer
of the Year
AFP photographer Angelos Tzortzinis has been named news magazine
Time’s “Wire Service Photographer of the Year” for his coverage of Greece
in 2015. The 27-year-old Greek photojournalist has covered the various
crises facing Greece over the past six years, from violence in the streets
to the mass arrival of migrants, AFP said in a press release.
“The resulting photographs of the economic crisis, often shot at close
range at protests, are powerful reminders of the true impact on everyday
people of political decisions made in meeting rooms in Paris, Berlin and
Brussels,” Time said.
“Through his images for AFP, Angelos Tzortzinis has been an outstanding
witness to the turmoil that shook Greece in 2015, most notably the
migrant crisis,” said AFP President and CEO Emmanuel Hoog.
Angelos Tzortzinis began his career as an independent photographer and
joined AFP as a stringer in 2007. He has also worked regularly for the New
York Times since 2010. He has covered news in several countries in the
Middle East as well as in Ukraine.
This is the fourth time since 2010 that an AFP photographer has received
this award, AFP said: Turkish photographer Bülent Kiliç was awarded in
2014 for his coverage of Ukraine, Turkey and Syria; in 2012 the selected
was Italian photographer Marco Longari for his work in Syria, Egypt, the
West Bank and Gaza; and in 2010 Time chose Brazilian photographer
Mauricio Lima for his coverage of the war in Afghanistan.
ANA-MPA launching radio station and print magazine
ANA-MPA has launched a regional informative radio station called
“Praktoreio (Agency) 104,9 FM” in the second largest city of Greece,
Thessaloniki and range in Central Macedonia.
In early October, the agency plans to publish a weekly free press
magazine,” in order to promote people with creativity and innovative
efforts and prove that Greece is a unique country”. The magazine will
target people 20 to 50 years old. Financing will be by advertisements and
In the following months, ANA-MPA is planning further activities on FM
Radio; Thematic television in collaboration with the local administration
and Specialised free press publications, the agency reports.
“With prompt and accurate information and the credibility of ANA-MPA,
“Praktoreio 104,9 FM” aims to inform the local community and highlights
the problems faced by citizens in their everyday life. ANA-MPA uses its
own workforce to operate the radio station while it also offers work to
unemployed journalists”.
The program includes radio shows on politics, social and economic affairs,
culture, music, sports and special inserts regarding health, science,
technology, car and lifestyle, the agency says. All income is from
advertising and radio shows sponsoring.
ANA-MPA celebrating 110th anniversary
ANA-MPA on December 15 celebrated the agency’s 110th anniversary. The
agency was founded in 1895 as a private company, the Stefanopoli
Telegraphic Agency The agency changed its name to Athens News Agency
in 1905. The present name, ANA-MPA, is the result of a merger between
Athens News Agency and Macedonian Press Agency.
CNA launching video service
The Cyprus News Agency has introduced a video service, with an aim to
further enrich its services for its customers. The free access service is
available on the CNA website: www.cna.org.cy
CNA chairman re-elected
Larkos Larkou has been reappointed by the Council of Ministers as CNA
President for another three-year term-in-office, at the head of the sevenmember Board of Directors.
HINA celebrating 25 anniversary
HINA has celebrated the agency’s 25th anniversary with a reception
for clients, colleagues, state dignitaries and foreign ambassadors held at
the headquarters of the Croatian Journalists’ Association and followed by
an after-party with jam session at café Wire in the basement of the HINA
The agency started in 1990 with several of the professionals having
agency experience from the Croatian office of TANJUG news agency, the
agency reports. Today HINA has 125 employees of which 105 are
journalists, photographers and editors producing more than 6 000 news
items, 5 000 photos and 100 videos per month.
LUSA appointing Sales and Marketing Manager
LUSA has hired a new Sales and Marketing Manager, Monica Garcia, who
will report directly to the CEO.
Monica Garcia is a business and marketing manager with two decades of
experience on strategic planning, product marketing and business
development, both in B2B and B2C market segments, the agency said in a
statement adding that she has extensive experience in multinational and
national technology companies.
LUSA appointing new Editor-in-Chief
Pedro Camacho has been appointed new Chief Editor of LUSA. He is
former publisher and director of news magazine Visão. He has worked at
Impresa, one of the largest private media groups in Portugal, and has
been under-director and economics editor in Público, economics editor in
Diário de Notícias, journalist and reporter for Semanário, Primeira Página
and Tempo, and also worked for the national broadcasters SIC television
and Rádio Renascença and the French state owned Rádio Paris-Lisboa.
SANA best news item award
Written by: Rasha Milhem & Imad Dghli
The goddess of love and beauty, a symbol that endured for
millennia of human history
Damascus, SANA (14.08.2014) – Artifacts uncovered from various
archaeological sites in Syria document the creativity shown by ancient
artists from various eras and cultures in embodying a figure that
symbolizes two values humanity has cherished throughout history: Ishtar,
Inanna, Aphrodite, Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
Mahmoud al-Sayyed, an expert in ancient languages and inscriptions at
the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, says the name of
Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology – who was
later worshiped by the Romans as Venus – means the delighted flower.
Aphrodite was the source of inspiration to all artists and sculptors of that
age who competed to bring their own vision of the beauty of the female
form to life in marble and mosaics.
Researches believe that the worship of Aphrodite originates from the East,
with evidence suggesting that the goddess’s characteristics are almost
identical with Ishtar, the East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian
deity of fertility, love, and sex, leading experts to suggest that Ishtar is
the inspiration behind Aphrodite and the myth cycles associated with her.
While some posit that the roots of Aphrodite can be traced back to
primordial deities like the earth goddess whose carven likeness is known
as the Venus of Willendorf, it could be argued that it was in Mesopotamia
and the Levant where she began to take shape into the perennial icon of
womanhood and beauty, when she was Ishtar.
In her various incarnations, the goddess of love and beauty is depicted as
a graceful, voluptuous woman with bright eyes. Her smile brings peace
and tranquility into the hearts of those who behold it, and when she
passes by, springs gush out, trees yield fruit, and flowers bloom and emit
their fragrance.
Al-Sayyed says that Syria has
hundreds of statues, drawings
and bas-reliefs depicting the
goddess Ishtar, some of which are considered rare masterpieces.
Damascus National Museum and the museums of Aleppo, Palmyra, and
Raqqa contain some of those sculptures, the most ancient of which dating
back to the third millennium BC.
At the dawn of the second millennium BC, the worship of Ishtar spread on
a large scale all over Syria. At that point in history, the artists began
depicting her as more beautiful and sultry, and they began to carve her
image on jewelry made of gold and silver.
Some of the notable findings that date back to the Bronze Age are two
golden pieces of jewelry that bear the image of Ishtar. They were
discovered at Ras Shamra, an
archeological site located in
Syria’s coastal area, and are now
preserved at the Louvre.
A basalt statue of Ishtar wearing
unearthed in Ain Dara Temple in
the northern city of Aleppo. It
dates back to the Iron Age, the
first millennium BC. Two other figurines of the goddess dating back to the
sixth century BC were uncovered at the same site. They were made with
remarkable skill from baked clay of pinkish hue.
Depictions of Ishtar, who evolved through the centuries beyond being the
goddess of love into a goddess of both war and love, were being made
after the birth of Jesus Christ, a prominent artifact – now preserved at
Damascus National Museum – is a bas-relief of Ishtar in which she is
depicted seated with a crown on her head and her left hand holding one of
her braids. This masterpiece was uncovered at a Palmyran archeological
Al-Sayyed states that many
researchers say it’s obvious that
the Greek sculptors who came
after those eras drew inspiration
from ancient Levantine and
Mesopotamian art, and that their
methodology and technique of
originated from Syria, and later
in history they were passed to
the Romans through Sicily,
Moving on Greek mythology, alSayyed said that myths say that
Aphrodite was born in Cyprus after
the titan Cronus (the father of Greeks’ chief deity Zeus) castrated his
father, the sky god Uranus, causing blood and semen drops to fall in the
sea and form foam. The myth goes on to say that before the next sunrise,
the foam split and a lady of exquisite beauty emerged, her skin as white
as foam, with long luxurious hair. Her name was Aphrodite.
The ancient Greeks believed that Aphrodite was a protector of sailors as
well as a patron goddess of warriors in Sparta, another similarity with
Ishtar who was also a dual goddess of the conflicting spheres of love and
Later, that duality began to shift, with more emphasis being placed on her
role as a goddess of love. In his poems, Homer said that Aphrodite is
Zeus’s daughter from Dione, daughter of Oceanus. The Greek bard
described her as a goddess that does not take part in wars because her
dominion is over the hearts of gods and mortals, being able to defeat any
of them with her charms except for the goddesses Hera, Hestia, Athena,
and Artemis. It should be noted that Aphrodite may have lost her mantle
as a patron of warriors in favor of other goddesses, mainly Athena, whose
spheres of influence included courage and warfare and who assisted
mythic Greek heroes like Achilles and Odysseus.
In Rome, Aphrodite became Venus, beloved and favored among the
Roman goddesses. The deity who stood for love, beauty and fertility was
prominent in many Roman religious ceremonies, she was the patron of
weddings and was honored in many ceremonies and rites. The Romans
thought that Venus was born in the sea and came to Cyprus’ shores in a
conch shell.
After her absence as Ishtar for centuries, the goddess reappeared as
Venus in Syria when the Roman Empire’s influence spread across it.
Artifacts discovered in various archeological sites in Syria document the
Roman myth cycles of Venus’ birth, al-Sayyed says, giving an example
from Sweida province in southern Syria, where a Roman mosaic depicting
Venus’s birth from a conch shell on an island was found at Shahba site.
A similar Roman mosaic was uncovered at Sarin site in Hasaka to the far
north-east of the country, depicting the same scene, with the goddess
surrounded by dolphins and mythic marine creatures.
An interesting thing to note that
consequently Aphrodite to Ishtar
is that the ancient Babylonians
associated her with the planet
Venus long before it was dubbed
thusly, with them calling it
“bright queen of the sky” as revealed by the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa,
a record of astronomical observations dating back to the first millennium
The birth of Aphrodite is not the only popular part of her myth cycles
among artists. Another subject that artist love to tackle is her interactions
with other gods, particularly her amorous relations which eventually drew
the ire of Zeus due to the conflict among the gods that vied for her,
causing him to give her hand to Hephaestus, the blacksmith god who was
unsightly and lame.
The bond between Aphrodite and her son Eros (or Cupid the Roman
mythology) was shown in many antiquities, with several such artifacts
showing Aphrodite carrying an apple (which may be a reference the Trial
of Paris and the Trojan War) with Eros next to her, brandishing his arrows
of love. The image of Eros or Cupid and his arrows would survive into
modern times and become a commonplace representation of falling in love
around the myriad cultures of the world.
An example of the aforementioned
scene can be viewed at Damascus
National Museum, which possesses
a small bronze statue that dates
back to the first century AD,
showing a nude Venus standing on
a base, putting on a crown,
carrying a mirror in her left hand,
and holding in the other her son
Cupid, who is here depicted as a
baby with a pair of wings.
The love between Aphrodite and Ares, the god of war and father or Eros,
is also a popular subject in ancient art, with one such example being a
mosaic dating back to circa 240 AD which was discovered in one of
Emperor Philip the Arab’s palaces in Shahba site. The mosaic is made
from colored limestone, depicting Aphrodite with a halo above her head
while a handmaiden crowns her with a laurel wreath, and next to her is
Ares with Eros bearing his weapons. This mosaic is preserved at Shahba
Al-Sayyed notes that the Greek
sculptors and then the Romans
used basalt, marble, wood, ivory,
bone, and metals such as gold,
bronze, and silver in creating
statues and carvings of the
goddess of love, beauty and
fertility. He said that a statuette
of Aphrodite craved from a small
piece of bone was found in
Lattakia and is now displayed in
the local museum.
The goddess of love influenced art
well after her worship began to
erode following the Roman Empire’s embracing of Christianity. Her birth
remained a popular subject among artists throughout history, with Sandro
Botticelli, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Alexandre Cabanel producing
veritable masterpieces based on that myth, while her pairing with Ares (or
Mars as the Romans called him) was also depicted by Botticelli and
Jacques-Louis David, among others.
Whether you call her Ishtar, Astarte, Inanna, Aphrodite, or Venus, in the
end, the cultural impact the goddess of love has had on human culture,
art, literature, and even the very values of female beauty and aesthetics
is nothing short of awe inspiring, leaving one to wonder how much of what
we take for granted in the way we look at the word today is actually
rooted in the forgotten world of our long-gone ancestors.
Rasha Milhem / Hazem Sabbagh
HINA best photo award
Floods in Coratia
Gunja, Croatia, 23.05.2014 - Picture from the air shows church and
graveyard which weres flooded after continuous, heavy rainfall which
resulted in extensive flooding in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and
Herzegovina (BiH). Three months’ worth of rain fell in only three days, the
heaviest rainfall in since records began. More then 3 million people were
affected with floods and economic impact is estimated over 1.5 billion USD
for 3 former Yugoslav countries. HINA/Damir SENCAR
EFE news item Distinction
Written by: Edu Marin
ANCIENT EGYPT -featureThe perks of being an Egyptologist in Luxor
Luxor, Egypt, Dec 12 (EFE)- At five o'clock in the morning, the Egyptian
city of Luxor wakes up to the sound of Muslim prayer and the braying of
donkeys. At that same time, Spanish Egyptologist Milagros Alvarez Sosa
and her team begin to prepare for a 3,500-year journey backwards in
time to the Pharaonic era.
Alvarez preps for her archaeological expedition by donning a shirt, hiking
boots, red hat and sunglasses. She sips at her coffee, as breakfast won't
be until considerably later on.
"Sometimes we feel more like farmers than Egyptologists, because Luxor
is another world," Alvarez tells Efe, referring to the Min Project, conducted
in coordination with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The site includes
the tomb of Min, who was a tutor to the Pharaoh Amenhotep II (14271401 BC).
Luxor is at the epicenter of modern Egyptology: time does not only stand
still in the Theban necropolis, where most of the archeological treasures
are concentrated, but also in the city itself.
"Animals are an important part of life in Luxor. It is a very rural area,"
Italian archeologist Irene Morfini tells Efe. Morfini recalls how she had to
wait many times for the female donkey to breastfeed her baby while on
their way to the tomb of Min.
It was during the reign of Thutmose III (1490-1436 BC) when Min tutored
the young prince and future pharaoh, Amenhotep II, teaching him the
essential skills of the era, such as archery.
The team studying the tomb is helmed by Alvarez and Morfini, who
supervise a hardworking squad comprised of three Spanish conservatorrestorers, a Dutch archeologist, an inspector, two Egyptologists, an
overseer and several Egyptian workers.
The humidity and heat are off the charts inside the tomb. Wearing a
flashlight headband and holding a brush and a syringe, conservatorrestorer Ruth Rufino assesses signs of possible damage to the hieroglyphs
engraved on the walls.
"The next step will be implementing a preliminary consolidation of those
parts that are prone to damage or decaying. Then we'll get to the
restoration process, which will last for a long time," Rufino explains.
In her first direct experience with Egyptian ruins, Rufino highlights the
importance of the work performed by conservator- restorers: "It is crucial.
Without restoration, there is no search."
The dark tomb of Min is lit only by small bulbs shining a dim light on the
conservator-restorers and Egyptologists studiously working on the walls.
The workers prepare breakfast while Alvarez and Morfini make sure
everything goes as planned.
The labyrinthine passageways that lead to the tomb, in addition to the
intense humidity, lack of air and the smell of mummified remains, are
enough for Alvarez to reaffirm her choice of becoming an Egyptologist.
"When I get into the tomb and work in silence, I realize that all this work
is worth it. Nothing is better," she says with a hint of pride.
The team's efforts have also resulted in the discovery of other important
archaeological findings, such as the tomb of May, a senior official in the
period of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Alvarez and Morfini, along with their collaborators, found the 3,500-yearold tomb early in 2014. "If it hadn't been for a crack in the wall made by a
thief, we would have never discovered the tomb," Alvarez points out.
Perhaps suprisingly, Alvarez explains that these great discoveries are not
the most important part of an excavation.
"The data found must be interpreted; we hear what the restorers and
epigraphers have to say, we analyze the data and give it life," she asserts.
At 1.30 PM, all activity stops dead in its tracks in the Min tomb. Alvarez
and Morfini, along with the team, head back to the Valley of the Nobles
under the fiery sun, finally returning to their apartments, where they
usually stay for two months a year.
At the end of the day, Alvarez is unequivocally proud to lead one of the
three Spanish archeological missions in Luxor.
"This is a men's world. It has not been easy for the workers to accept a
young woman as their manager, but I earned their respect eventually,"
she concludes. (EFE)
TANJUG photo Distinction
Serbia's Government Ministers and religious dignitaries try to fast wear
rain suits as torrential rain suddenly hits Belgrade on October 16 2014,
during military parade in honour of visiting Russian President Vladimir
Putin. TANJUG/ Srdjan Ilic
FANA elects new President
The General Assembly of FANA (Federation of Arab News Agencies), held
in Kuwait, has elected Sheikh Mubarak Duaij al-Ibrahim al-Sabah,
President and Director General of Kuwait news agency KUNA as FANA
President for the coming two years.
Attachment: Copy of the EANA Boards Public Statement to the
Government of Serbia
Public Statement to the Government of Serbia,
It is alarming that the future of Serbian news agency Tanjug is threatened
after what seems to be a second failed attempt to privatise the agency.
The board of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) is urging the
Serbian government to make changes needed to secure the agency’s
mission as a provider of unbiased news reports to Serbian and
international media.
Tanjug’s continued operation as a provider of unbiased news services is
vital both for media pluralism in Serbia and for information about Serbia
in the European media community. In a time of hardship, dramatic
international developments including migration affecting the whole of
Europe, it is important to secure the trustworthy and internationally
respected Tanjug brand that citizens can rely on in order to be well
Tanjug is a well-known brand in the news agency business and the agency
has for decades now been a member of the international news agency
community. Tanjug was one of the founders of the European Alliance of
News Agencies when a number of European news agencies in 1956
decided to create a news agency organisation for cooperation and the
exchange of experiences etc. The agency has under the present
management been re-vitalised both financially and editorially. This
positive development led to that CEO, Ms Branka Djukic, a few years ago
was awarded the European EANA Award for Excellence in News Agency
For a news agency´s trustworthiness, both within the country and towards
its international partners, it is vital that the ownership structure,
whichever one chosen, is clear, transparent and makes the provision of
true and unbiased news the foremost editorial goal. The EANA member
agencies represent various forms of ownership, both private and public.
EANA represents European news agencies in contacts with the EU
Commission etc to secure economic and legal environments for news
agencies operating in accordance with the principles of press freedom and
unbiased news.
We appreciate the Serbian government´s ambition to modernise the rules
under which Tanjug operates but it is important that the lack of interest
for privatisation of the agency under the present legal framework does not
threaten the agency’s mission. The board is therefore urging the
government to make the changes needed to secure the agency’s mission
under whatever ownership arrangements chosen.
The EANA board takes it that the Serbian government is open for a
discussion on how to secure Tanjug’s future as an unbiased and respected
news provider and the board would appreciate a meeting with the
government for a discussion about media pluralism, ownership structures
and Tanjug’s future. We look forward to as soon as possible know when
we can visit the Serbian government for such a discussion.
October 12, 2015
Clive Marshall, CEO of PA Group, London and President, EANA Branka
Gabriela Valentic, CEO of HINA, Zagreb and Board Member, EANA Jonas
Eriksson, CEO of TT, Stockholm and Board Member, EANA Alexandru
Giboi, CEO of Agerpres, Bucharest and Board Member, EANA Erik Nylen,
Stockholm, Secretary General, EANA.
GP/MM/Nicosia, 20 January 2016