MANILA -- There’s no stopping the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) from expanding its reach both here and abroad.
As the government’s newswire service marks its 46th anniversary on March 1, more deals were signed with its foreign counterparts as part of its efforts to promote news cooperation and exchange.
One of the most recent is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the 2019 World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE on Feb. 11. this year.
Under the MOU, PNA and WAM will exchange visits of their personnel and experience in journalism, video editing and production, social media, publishing, and translation.
Aside from WAM, the PNA also signed news cooperation agreement with China Radio International (February 2017); Yonhap News Agency of South Korea (March 2018); and Media Support and Asset Management Fund/DUNA Media Service Provider Nonprofit Ltd. of Hungary(August 2018).
There is also a news cooperation agreement between PNA and Russia’s Sputnik News Agency and Microsoft News Singapore currently awaiting signature while a similar agreement with Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency being finalized.
For review are news cooperation agreements with AsiaNet and Middle East North Africa Financial Network, Inc. (MENAFN).
PNA’s news content on the upcoming 2019 Philippine national and local elections would soon be part of a special collection at the United States Library of the Congress.
In a letter addressed to PNA, the United States Library of Congress said it considers the country's new materials as "important part" of the said collection.
Websites are selected for archiving by Library Recommending Officers to represent "samples of web content" that could help document an event and record information that could otherwise be lost.
PNA staff and reporters have and continue to receive journalism training sessions from both Russia, Turkey and China.
Russia's Sputnik News Agency has held journalism training seminars attended by PNA reporters in Moscow, Russia in October 2018.
PNA reporters are also regular participants of the China-Asia Pacific Press Center (CAPPC) Program and China-Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program in Beijing, China organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA).
Friendlier ties between Philippines and China have reaped donations as part of Beijing's PHP15 million worth of assistance to Manila's state media.
On Feb. 13 this year, the Chinese Embassy in Manila donated sets of equipment to PNA and Radyo Pilipinas of the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Among the donations were IT equipment such as the iMac Pro computers, camcorders, and teleprompters for the digitization of both agencies.
Earlier, China donated about PHP140 million worth of radio and broadcasting equipment to the government.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said that all these developments are part of efforts to strengthen PNA’s presence in social media and reach a wider audience.
Andanar also recognized how much PNA has changed from its humble beginnings as a teletype news service 46 years ago to a web-based news service.
Last year, the PNA improved its editorial board, established a weekday English news program called “PNA Newsroom”, created a stronger online presence, and renovated its office.
“The PNA our people used to know have been surprised with a rebooted PNA that occurred during the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Andanar said.
He, meanwhile, expressed hope that PNA would remain steadfast in efforts “to bring about genuine and meaningful change in society.”
“As we continue to revitalize the agency in the remaining years of the Duterte presidency, we expect PNA to be a valuable communications platform partner in our efforts to bring about genuine and meaningful change in society,” Andanar said.
At present, PNA remains a division of the News and Information Bureau (NIB), one of the PCOO’s attached agencies. NIB is under the direct supervision of Virginia Arcilla-Agtay.
PNA’s day-to-day editorial operations are being handled by acting executive Editor Luis A. Morente, assisted by acting managing editor Cynthia Luna, and several senior editors.
The agency’s headquarters is located on the second floor of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bldg. at the National Media Center along Visayas Ave. in Quezon City
In the 46 years of its existence, PNA has transferred seven times--five times around the Intramuros area in Manila and twice in Quezon City, the latest in 1996 when it settled in its present headquarters on the second floor of the PIA Bldg. (PNA)