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Despite blunders, PNA now has more readers—Andanar

/ 03:39 PM August 15, 2017

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday lamented the blunders committed by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) and vowed to instill reforms to ensure that the state news wire agency delivers timely and accurate information to the public.

During the House of Representatives committee deliberations on the Presidential Communications and Operation Office’s (PCOO) proposed P1.351-billion budget in 2018, lawmakers grilled Andanar about PNA’s recent blunder of uploading the logo of pineapple company Dole Philippines in a story about the Department of Labor and Employment.

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The blunder, which caused a stir among netizens who branded PNA as the “Pineapple News Agency,” only meant that the PNA has more readers to detect the error, according to Andanar.

READ: PNA apologizes for attaching wrong photo in DOLE story 

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Andanar said the editors and uploader responsible in the blunder were ordered to explain as part of due process, noting that some editors could not be dismissed due to their permanent posts.

“Naglabasan ang kapalpakan at napansin ng madla. Bakit napansin ng madla ang kapalpakan? Sapagkat binabasa na ang PNA ngayon,” Andanar said, touting the state website’s new look as the PCOO moves toward digitalization.

(The blunders are coming out and the people are noticing it. Why are they noticing it? Because they are reading the PNA now.)

Andanar said he is ashamed at what happened, adding that he has ordered the creation of an editorial board to ensure that the mistake won’t happen again.

“Nakakahiya po (It’s embarrassing). We’re doing our best . We formed an editorial board which is a gatekeeper of the stories para hindi na ito mangyari uli (so this will not happen again),” Andanar said.

The PNA also received backlash for uploading Chinese news agency Xinhua’s editorial piece critical of the arbitral ruling that favored the Philippines over the South China Sea dispute.]

READ: PNA in hot water for pro-China post 

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The PNA in May was also criticized for its story that the United Nations Human Rights Council member states allegedly said there were no extrajudicial killings in the country, a story which turned out to be a fake news item.

The PNA also earned the ire of netizens when a news story on the Maute terrorists’ siege in Marawi city carried an erroneous thumbnail of the Vietnam war to depict urban warfare in the Islamic city.

READ: PNA admits lapses but denies deliberately posting ‘fake news’

The PCOO has a proposed budget of P1.351 billion in 2018, lower than its approved budget of P1.373 billion this year.

The PCOO’s News and Information Bureau, where PNA is under, has a proposed budget of P129.125 million in 2018, down from its approved 2017 budget of P131.902 million. IDL

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TAGS: Martin Andanar, Philippine News Agency, Presidential Communications and Operation Office
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