The Creation of the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool
The article focuses on the process that led to the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool (NANAP) being established and the factors shaping its emergence. The author explains NANAP’s emergence by referring to three groups of factors. The first is the interests and strategies of Yugoslav political elites and of Yugoslavia’s Tanjug news agency. While Tanjug was interested in increasing its global reach and position in the global marketplace of news agencies, the federal political elites saw Tanjug as an important foreign policy tool. Yugoslavia was actively pushing to institutionalise informational cooperation within the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) already in the run-up to the 4th NAM summit in Algiers, even though the objective conditions were deemed minimal. The second factor is changes in international relations given that NANAP developed in the context of the institutionalisation of NAM in the 1970s and its efforts to build “self-reliance” so as to increase its position within the global economy and bargaining power vis-à-vis the developed countries. NANAP therefore recontextualised Tanjug’s bilateral news exchange agreements into a multilateral project of economic cooperation within NAM, aimed at strengthening mutual understanding and gaining independence from global (primarily Western) news sources. Finally, NANAP’s development was shaped by the movement’s institutional history as NANAP was conceived and institutionalised in the mould of pre-existing forms of economic cooperation. To respect the movement’s decentralised ethos, Yugoslavia had to downplay and disguise its significant level of involvement in establishing NANAP and other forms of informational cooperation and to present them as multilateral projects with broad support within NAM.
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