PNA apologizes for wrong photo in DOLE story

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
PNA apologizes for wrong photo in DOLE story

The state-run Philippine News Agency used the logo of Dole Philippines, a company known for producing processed pineapple products, instead of the official seal of the labor department. Screengrab from PNA

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2 7:05 p.m.) The state-run Philippine News Agency on Friday apologized for running a story on the Department of Labor and Employment with erroneous photo. 

In its August 11 report titled “DOLE issues pay rules for 2018 holidays," the PNA used the logo of Dole Philippines, a company known for producing processed pineapple products, instead of the official seal of the labor department.

However, netizens noticed that the logo was wrong and were quick to share a screenshot of the story online.

The photo has since been taken down from the PNA page and was replaced by the correct logo of the Department of Labor and Employment. 

Hours after the photo was taken down, the news agency published an erratum.

They acknowledged that their staff "inadvertently attached the wrong photo rather than the logo of the Department of Labor and Employment."

"It was a careless act on the PNA editorial staff," the erratum read.

"Rest assured appropriate action is being taken in pursuit of the delivery of accurate information to our readers. Our apologies," it added.

More blunders

Prior to the recent blunder, PNA has been mocked for frequent errors on their reportage. 

Earlier, the news agency was criticized after it posted an editorial of China's Xinhua News Agency, hitting the South China Sea arbitration. It has also taken down the article after reaping criticisms from readers.

In its commentary published August 6, the Chinese state-run news agency branded the ruling of a United Nations-backed tribunal favoring the Philippines as "ill-founded."

In May, PNA drew flak for using a photograph from the Vietnam War in a story about the Marawi siege. They assured readers that they will review their procedures on reportage as they continue "to uphold our commitment to deliver accurate and balanced news reports to the Filipino people and the world."

That same month, PNA posted an article titled “95 nations in 3rd UPR convinced no EJKs in PHL.”

Quoting Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III, it claimed that 95 nations in the 27th Universal Period Review of the UN Human Rights Council were convinced that there were no extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

The article reached the UN Human Rights Council, which refuted the story on Twitter. Densing also denied making such a statement that prompted PNA to update the story.

PNA is an agency under Presidential Communications Operations Office headed by Secretary Martin Andanar. Initially launched as teletype newswire service in 1973, PNA eventually became a web-based newswire service in 2003. 

With Andanar at the PCOO is Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, a pro-Duterte blogger who said that she would use her position to spread "correct news" to Filipinos. 

Uson, however, has been caught sharing unverified images on social media. In an online post asking the public to pray for Filipino soldiers in Marawi, netizens pointed out that the photo actually showed the Honduran police.

While the news agency apologized for the gaffe, Uson justified her error and said that the photo was just “symbolic.” Uson continues to handle social media under the PCOO.

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