The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is on a crisis management mode after the Philippine News Agency’s latest gaffe, which involved editorial notes being included in the headlines.
Communications Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, who is in charge of managing PNA’s operations, did not address the mistake in his statement Friday (September 8) but acknowledged there are “flaws” that needed to be addressed within 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,” he said.
“Likewise, incidents of negligence, incompetence or even sabotage, if proven, will be dealt with accordingly,” Egco added.
PNA became a laughing stock once again as headlines surfaced bearing editorial notes such as an instruction for a writer to look for a fresh angle, and convert a news report to a feature story.
Egco appealed to the public to “bear with us” the PCOO works to “bring back that old journalistic fervor that once defined editors and reporters of the news agency in its ‘glory’ days.”
As proof that the agency is working hard to revamp the PNA, he shared that he gathered PNA veterans, leaders of media organizations and a communicatons expert from the academe to form an advisory council for the state-run news agency.
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 University of the Philippines journalism professor 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,” Egco said.