Eftychios Pallikaris, President and Director General of ANA-MPA: In the medium-term, we’re looking to capitalise on the lessons learned
Eftychios Pallikaris, President and Director General of ANA-MPA, considers that, in order to maintain relevancy, a news agency has to stay true to journalism’s elemental tenants: objective, timely, continuous and accurate reporting and news dissemination. More about the role of public news agencies and other interesting topics, in the interview below.
Is your agency affected by the current crisis? How do you see ANA-MPA’s future?
We, as a news agency, were drastically affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, given that practically all of the ANA-MPA’s news production and data/information dissemination was initiated, processed and circulated by staff-members working away from the main office. In the medium-term, we’re looking to capitalize on the lessons learned, and challenges met from this enforced “tele-commuting”, especially amid a public health emergency.
How do you see the role public news agencies play for societies during crisis times?
The role that public national news agencies enjoyed, and must continue to steadfastly exercise in an exponentially expanding global “cyber-village”, is that of providing timely, continuous and reliable information to their stake-holders, other mass media, and by extension, to the general public. It goes without saying that this is even more crucial during times of crisis. Imagine the situation in a society where there’s a media “blackout” vis-à-vis a grave public health crisis, possibly misleading information or even outright disinformation by state or non-state actors, and regardless of the competency and effectiveness by the state, non-state and private sectors in dealing with the crisis.
Do you see a change in news consumption in Greece?
Not a change, per se, but a continuing and accelerating trend towards instantaneous “snippets” of news gathering and dissemination, via social media platforms or personalized news filters available on every type of palm top. An ever-smaller portion of the day’s or week’s developments are “universally” presented, i.e. a videotaped incident that leads to national rioting, a natural disaster or the passing of a very well-known personality.
What do you think a news agency should do in order to stay relevant at national level?
Stay true to journalism’s elemental tenants: objective, timely, continuous and accurate reporting and news dissemination.
Do you think that the current “state of relaxation” in your country will impact the media market in any way?
Internet traffic for electronic media may increase if the coming tourism/travel season is salvaged. Still too soon to judge what the impact will be on tradition media.
Interview by Alexandru Giboi (EANA Secretary General) for the "EANA Top Voices" project.