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.
The Daily Manila Shimbun Story
The Daily Manila Shimbun (DMS) was first distributed in Metro Manila on May 3, 1992 as the Kyodo News Daily (KND). The broadsheet had ony four pages back then, all in Nihonggo. It carried wire stories of Japan’s biggest news agency, Kyodo, in all of its four pages.
Staff-written stories about the Philippines and the Japanese community in the Philippines appeared in one page of KND only once a week until mid-1995. Towards the end of 1995, However, with six fultime Japanese Staffwriters on board, KND started to have a regular staff written front page.
it was then theat the publisher, Hirochica Noguchi, thought of weaning the daily from the shadow of Kyodo. He thus sought reeader’s suggestions for a new name. So it was that Kyodo News Daily bowed out on December 31, 1995 and reemerged on January 2, 1996 as The Daily Manila Shimbun.
As of 2002,its tenth year of publication, the DMS employs 12 Japanese journalists, a mix of veterans with as many as 35 years experience and of neophytes with less than a years experience.
The Shimbun earned its readers trust over the years by giving them only important, accurate and timely information. That it embodies the best of japanese Journalism can be gleaned from its having been voted the best expatriate Japanese Newspaper in 2000 and 2001 by the Association of Japanese Newspapers Published Overseas.