Philippine News Agency

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The Philippine News Agency (PNA) is the only wire news service in the Philippines. A division of the News and Information Bureau, it is subsidized by the government. With its 18 regional posts, the PNA provides national news stories and photographs for the use of the government, the media, and the general public. It serves international as well as Philippine clients, providing them with press coverage, commentaries, features, background information, and news analysis. In addition, the PNA compiles world news stories for distribution in the Philippines through its news exchange agreements with national news agencies in the ASEAN, Asia-Pacific Region, Europe, Middle East, Latin American and Africa.

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History

The PNA was initially called the Philippine News Service (PNS). It was begun by newspaper publishers in the 1950s as a joint private enterprise which the publishers themselves subsidized. It had a network of correspondents and stringers all over the Philippines to ensure that news could be consistently supplied for use by newspapers, television channels and radio stations. Working at the PNS at that time gave a journalist prestige and served as training grounds for many young journalists who grew to be well-known.

In the 1970s the news wire agency eventually grew unable to subsidize itself since many of its major media clients such as the Bulletin Today withdrew their subscriptions, preferring instead to hire their own provincial correspondents. Thus it was taken over by what was then known as the Department of Public Information. It was then that the name of the news service was changed to the Philippine News Agency.

Because of the suppression of news media under Martial Law during the term of President Ferdinand Marcos, the news agency’s troubles increased, and it lost its prestige. Yet despite its troubles it has been maintained by the government under the News and Information Bureau ever since and now has a website where its news stories and photographs are posted.

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