It is no secret that the big countries of the West control and dominate global mass media. Thus, most news about Asia and Asians are presented from the point of view of Westeners. This situation impedes cross-cultural exchange since news about peoples and states whose leaders happen to be out of favor with the Western Press are Blacked out.
Readers are entitled to read not only “normal newsfare” (that is, news refracted through the dominant Western viewpoint) but also the other side of the news-about Malaysia, China and Iraq, for instance, written from the Malaysian, Chinese and Iraqi establishments viewpoints.
This dream took material form in NewsAsia, Manila’s first Asian newspaper in English. From April 25, 1994 until the endof February 1998, News Asia brought to a loyal but limited number of readers “Asian News from the Asian Viewpoint Everyday”. Towards achieving the balance in the flow of information described earlier, it used stories generated by members of the Organization of Asian News Agencies or OANA (e.g., Malaysia’s Bernama, Iraq’s Iraqi News Service, Iran’s IRNA, China’s Xinhua, Japan’s Kyodo, Vietnam’s Vietnam News Agency). Granted that these stories are “tainted”since they are generated by government news agencies, these are indispensable in helping readers understand the “official” views of Asian governments.
Though NewsAsia stopped publication in 1998, the dream that it embodies lives on. In anticipation of the time when historical conditions ripen for its re-launch, NewsAsia was reformatted into the two-page English section of the Daily Manila Shimbun starting April 1998.
The Japan page brings features stories from and about Japan as well as from and about the Japanese community in the Philippines.
The Asia Page brings together the major stories from and about Asia, including the Philippines. These stories and photos are sourced mainly in Japan’s Kyodo News International and China’s Xinhua News.
Philippines stories generated by five Filipino reporters are used sparingly, normally in the Asian page but occasionally in the Japan page. They normally become part of Nihonggo stories. Indeed, the reporters mainly backstop the Japanese Editorial staff in covering events in the country, especially those which concern the Japanese expatriate community. The reporters cover Malacanang Palace plus a few select beats-national defense, military-police hierarchies. immigration and deportation, official development assistance projects, snd tourism.
The DMS still has two pages of English stories from Tuesday to Sunday but has had three English pages every Monday starting in June 2001. The third page features interviews by the DMS editorial staff and various Filipino, Japanese and other foreign newsmaker. it is also features a calendar of events in Japan and Asia for the coming week and the exchange rate of major Asian currencies against the American dollar. it also occasionally features expert opinion by Filipino and Japanese columnists.