MANILA — After roughly 15 years of being behind the times, the Philippine News Agency on Monday unveiled its new website which, according to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, is now at par with its foreign counterparts.
Fully responsive website and mobile app on news, live updates and opinions about the Philippines. This is the Philippine News Agency reborn!
Communications Sec. Martin Andanar led the launching of the new website of PNA, the country’s 44-year old news wire agency.
“The neglect of PNA is a thing of the past. In this administration, PNA will be given the much needed attention and support to overhaul and modernize its operations starting with the launch of its new website interface and the design and renovator of its main office in Quezon City,” Andanar said during the launch of the PNA website in Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.
Andanar said that during recent state visits with President Rodrigo Duterte, he saw the cutting edge technology of its foreign counterparts including China’s Xinhua, Malaysia’s Bernama and Bahrain News Agency and realized that PNA has clearly been “left behind” in terms of equipment and technical facilities.
“PNA is part of the substantive coverage of Presidential activities and it is at the forefront of covering the meetings of the ASEAN in the Philippines,” he said.
“Despite the meager resources, PNA has consistently remained true to its mandate and that is to disseminate timely reliable and relevant news stories to the public,” he added.
The new PNA website, which has gone from being vintage and text-heavy to visually palatable and more interactive, was developed by Cebu-based company TechDaddy.
In a previous interview, Virginia Arcilla-Agtay, Director of the News and Information Bureau, PNA’s parent unit, said the updated website is now more “aesthetically appealing” compared to its 2002 design.
The new design has a “friendlier interface” with new navigation tools and enhanced display features. News stories are now accompanied with photos and videos for better reading experience.
Moreover, links to articles will be easier to share on social media platforms and story archiving will be more “reliable” with PNA upgrading to a bigger server.
PNA recently had its 15mbps fiber connection installed. Mobile users will also be able to read news stories via PNA’s mobile application which is available for both Android and iOS.
After the launch of the new website, Andanar said that the PNA office in Quezon City will also be getting a facelift and will be finished by November.
The new PNA office will be expanded from 480 square meters to 680 square meters. It will house state of the art facilities including news studio, audio booth among other facilities.
“Expect the construction of the state-of-the-art facilities that houses a new TV studio and high-tech tele-dub audio booth in its central office. We hope to finish it by November,” Andanar said.
“Much like any of your modern news agency around the world, PNA will have its own newscast on digital TV and also have its own newscast on digital and online,” he added,
Under this administration, Andanar further vowed to bring back PNA’s “glory days” by boosting PNA’s delivery on various programs and advocacies of the government here and abroad.
Dream come true
Andanar said that what really pushed him to spearhead the total upgrade of the news agency was when he visited PNA’s modest regional office in Cebu to find out that it only had one outdated computer — a Pentium 3 — and one personal laptop.
“If you have a news agency doing its best using whatever resources it has then we should really salute to them. That is one thing that inspired me,” Andanar said.
“The dream of a total makeover of the country’s official news agency is now beginning to turn into a reality. Indeed change has come for the Philippine News Agency,” he added.
PNA Acting Executive Editor Luis Morente, for his part, welcomed the launch of the new website and expressed gratitude to the Communications and NIB chiefs.
”We will try our best to help in the continuing improvement of PNA operations including quality and content in the website,” Morente said. –PNA