Tehran (ISNA) – In an interview with ISNA on the 9th anniversary of the launch of the Asia Journalists Association, the founder of the Association of Asian Journalists spoke about the concerns and goals of the series. He said he was inspired by a well-known South Korean economic figure in establishing an institution that seeks to bring journalists together around the world.
ISNA interview with Lee Sang-ki, founder of the Asian Journalists Association (AJA), conducted online:
Q-For many years, you have been trying to bring the journalists of Asia and the world closer to the AJA. Are you satisfied with your performance after these years?
A: AJA first started in 2004. So it has been 16 years so far. And in 2011, Asia N (online edition) was created. In 2013, Magazine N was brought to the world. It is historic and meaningful to see the people from all around the world to create something like this. All thanks to the contribution by our members including you. In regards to the satisfaction, I would like to use the quote by Steve Jobs: “I am still hungry”
Q-What was the purpose of this effort, and after these years, is it close to that goal? Or new conditions have made some changes?
A: It was something that had not been tried before so I have experienced many hardships. I never look back and regret though. I will keep trying on and widen my vision continually. Lee Kun-hee, who died as the Chair of Samsung, gave me inspirations especially.
Q-How many countries’ journalists are linked to the AJA now?
A: At first, we started with 7 countries. Now we have at least 30 countries gathering together. 50 countries are all officially registered. Especially, Journalist Association of the United States asked for membership as well and is registered also. Of course, we don’t have members from North Korea.
Q-How has the activity of the association and more communication with journalists from different countries led to the change and evolution of your personal look at this job?
A: The work keeps evolving for sure. For example, if something happens in a certain part of Asia, AJA publishes articles, statements and etc. to solve the problem by raising our voice. We are not hesitated. This year, when Hong Kong revolt and Floyd accident happened (though not part of Asia) we produced statements and criticized. Journalism’s value cannot be achieved freely. You have to have a consistency for freedom and faith in humanity. This is the creed that we all agree upon.
Q-How much hope would the world make for the better by the same connections among journalists?
A: Journalists are called the Kings with Crowns and a pen is stronger than a sword. AJA agrees with these statements. You may find this logo “One line of truth through sweat and blood”
If any journalist in Iran gets killed in Iran, we will surely stand up.
Q-What are the top features of the Asian Journalists Association? And what do you think more should be done in your opinion?
A: AJA is different because we look at the world through the lens of Asia and Asian. This is what makes us stand out among others. AJA is going to build Asia Press Centre and establish Asia Foundation. This is the step towards Asia Union which is our ultimate goal.