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After consecutive blunders, PNA gears for revamp

  • Philippine News Agency addresses flaws and blunders.
  • PNA supervisor vows for better accurate news and information from the state-run news agency.

The Philippine News Agency is gearing for a revamp according to newly appointed PCOO Usec. Joel Sy Egco.

In a statement posted on Facebook by Pebbles Duque, PCOO Usec and PNA supervisor Sy Egco said PNA is committed to addressing the flaws and blunders that recently plagued the agency.

“Rest assured that while we expect to experience “birth pains” as we transform from the old to the new, the flaws in the system are effectively being addressed, both in terms of manpower and technology.”

In accepting the position, Sy Egco promised to make PNA a more competent source of news and information. Part of the changes that will be implemented by the news agency is engaging stakeholders to ensure people’s participation in the creating a renewed PNA vision and mission amid the challenges being faced by media, in general, particularly the journalism profession.

Philippine News Agency has been in hot water recently for its consecutive blunders.

In May of this year, PNA erroneously shared a news saying majority of UN members commended the country’s Human Rights records which was later retracted. In the same month, PNA was also highly criticized for sharing a photo of Vietnam war in a story about the Marawi crisis.

Meanwhile, just last month, August, PNA was in awkward position after posting an editorial by the Xinhua News Agency’s calling the landmark The Hague ruling in favor of the Philippines as an “ill-founded award.” A few days afte that, the state-run news agency caught attention again when they posted logo of DOLE Pineapple as the logo of Department of Labor and Employment.

And just this week, social media was abuzz again by several screenshots of PNA’s directives to its staff which was uploaded on their website as headlines.

With all those blunders, Sy Ecgo said the new PNA is determined to bring back the old glory days of the Philippine News Agency.

“We are determined to bring back that old journalistic fervor that once defined editors and reporters of the news agency in its “glory” days.”

Currently, the PNA website is under maintenance to give way to the transition to its new face.

Here’s the full statement of PCOO Usec. Joel M. Sy Egco regarding issues on PNA.

As supervising Undersecretary tasked to manage the operations of the Philippine News Agency, it is my duty to plot the future of the PNA as a paramount source of timely and dependable news.

I accepted this new assignment, keeping in mind the challenges ahead, especially in the light of a fast evolving IT environment. From the traditional, the PNA should be kept at par with its hi-tech contemporaries as a competent source of information. The task [may be] daunting but not impossible.

It is, for this reason, that last Thursday, upon the instruction of Sec. Martin Andanar, we gathered leaders of respected media organizations, PNA veterans and a [communications] expert from the academe to form a PNA Advisory Council.

Consistent with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s policy of involving stakeholders in crafting policies that affect the public, it is our firm belief that the PNA is not a mouthpiece of the administration but an important medium to ensure fast, accurate and truthful delivery of information.

Afterall, PNA is a media outfit that is owned and run by the people for the people using their own funds.

Those who attended the meeting include representatives from the Philippine Press Institute, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, National Press Club, Publishers Association of the Philippines and former PNA chief and editor, respectively, Mr. Severino Samonte and Ben Cal. Also present was UP Prof. Danilo Arao.

This momentous meeting was the first of many positive engagements in store for all stakeholders to ensure people’s participation in the formulation of a renewed PNA vision and mission amid the challenges being faced by media, in general, and the journalism profession, in particular.

Press freedom, the freedom of expression, the freedom of information and the people’s right to know, which are all enshrined in the Philippine Constitution, will always be the guiding light in the formulation of policies that will from now on enhance the role of the PNA as a “people’s agency” that will ensure the smooth exchange of information to aid the public come up with informed decisions.

Rest assured that while we expect to experience “birth pains” as we transform from the old to the new, the flaws in the system are effectively being addressed, both in terms of manpower and technology.

Likewise, incidents of negligence, incompetence or even sabotage, if proven, will be dealt with accordingly.

We are determined to bring back that old journalistic fervor that once defined editors and reporters of the news agency in its “glory” days.



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