AFP Launches Worldwide Training Foundation

    PARIS, September 13 /CNW/ - Agence France-Presse opened a new dimension
in its services Thursday with the formal launch of the AFP Foundation to
promote higher standards of journalism worldwide.

    The Paris-based foundation will train journalists in developing
countries, conduct press-relations workshops for humanitarian groups, provide
curricula to high schools and universities, and organize seminars on issues
facing the media.

    It will offer services in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, drawing on
the considerable resources of AFP, the world's oldest established news agency
with correspondents and photographers in 165 countries.

    "The AFP Foundation is an extension of our basic mission, which is to
report the news objectively and impartially. Like its parent company, the AFP
Foundation will bring greater international perspective and depth to the news
business," said Pierre Louette, chairman and chief executive officer of AFP.

    "With its rich history, extensive network and multi-cultural tradition,
no-one is better placed than AFP to pass on the core values of journalism to
new generations of reporters, editors and communications officers."

    Louette heads the AFP Foundation's six-member board that also includes
Edward Mortimer, senior vice president of the Salzburg Seminar, Salil Shetty,
director of the UN Millennium Campaign, and veteran AFP journalists Randa
Habib, Annie Thomas and Peter Mackler.

    The AFP Foundation has already trained journalists and graphic artists in
Tunisia and last month it carried out a project funded by the UN Development
Programme to train 40 journalists and photographers in Syria.

    Directing the foundation is Robert Holloway, a journalist for more than
30 years with extensive service in the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the
United States. He has held several posts at AFP, including editor-in-chief and
deputy managing editor.

    Holloway said: "The philosophy underlying our work is that those who
benefit from training should be able to pass on what they have learned to
their colleagues and to younger generations.

    "We see it as part of our mission to teach those who may become
tomorrow's teachers."

    Training will be conducted by senior AFP staff or outside experts, all
with decades of experience and knowledge of the latest instructional
techniques. Learning materials will be adapted to the language, culture and
specific needs of the client.

    The AFP Foundation will also organize regular seminars to debate press
freedom, ethics and other vital questions. It will support efforts to improve
working conditions for journalists, particularly in hazardous areas, and to
elevate the status of women in the news media.

    Agence France-Presse, founded in 1835, offers a wide range of services,
including news wires in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German and
Portuguese, photos, graphics, video and multimedia packages.

For further information:

For further information: Agence France-Presse Press contact Robert
Holloway : 33 (0) 1 40 41 73 34

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