KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been given the honour to host the first Asean Editors Summit Conference for two days starting Tuesday.
The conference, themed 'Connecting Asean Community Through the Media' at a hotel here will be inaugurated by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
According to Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) Editor-In-Chief Datuk Zakaria Abdul Wahab, the conference is collaboration between Bernama, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Asean Secretariat.
Zakaria said today that Bernama General Manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh and Deputy Secretary-General of Asean for Community and Corporate Affairs Dr AKP Mochtan are scheduled to be present to deliver their speeches.
There are four discussion sessions with 16 speakers from Asean countries among them director of the Asean Secretariat (Indonesia) Lee Yoong Yoong and Bernama deputy editor-in-chief of Economic News Service, Mikhail Raj Abdullah.
Also participating are Phnom Penh Post editor-in-chief Chad David Williams, National Press Club of the Philippines president Jose Joel Sy Egco, Indonesian Antara News Agency editor-in-chief Aat Surya Safaat and Group Managing Editor, The New Straits Times Press Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid.
Zakaria said the topics of discussion are 'Engaging the Media to Boost the Asean Community', 'Driving Asean Ecnomic Integration', 'Promoting Asean's Cultural Identity' and 'Promoting One Asean Community Among Asean Media'.
He said, on the last day of the conference the Asean Editors Round Table Dialogue will be held with 10 speakers discussing on 'Forging Stronger Networking Among Asean Media'.
About 200 media industry players from Asean countries are expected to participate in the summit, he said.
Zakaria said the summit will be a unifying platform for media industry players from Asean member countries to share information, expertise and research respectively.
"Such exposure helps shape the consensus besides targeting future media planning to ensure the success of the Asean community in terms of economy, culture, social, and communication," he said, adding that participation is free of charge.
Zakaria hoped other Asean countries offer to host the summit in the near future as the media plays an important role in building the Asean community, which has more than 600 million people.
"We will also form a 'WhatsApp Group' comprising editors of all Asean countries to share information, insights, and what is happening in their countries," he said.
The Asean Editors Summit Conference was proposed with the support from several Asean countries when the Mass Media Editors Forum involving Indonesia-Malaysia media practitioners was held in Batam last year.
The summit was aimed at increasing cooperation and to foster the spirit of the AseanCommunity. - Bernama