Friday, October 21 2016


Behind the scenes: work at Viet Nam News

Update: June, 17/2016 - 09:00

Xuân Hiệp, Lifestyle Desk, HCM City

Inform and inspire

II decided to apply for a job at Viet Nam News because of the paper’s reputation and my desire to work in an English-language environment. After being hired, I struggled as I had yet to develop a network of contacts, but eventually all the challenges paid off. I’ve had wonderful opportunities, writing news stories and features on a wide variety of topics and travelling to many countries.

Even today, I can still remember the first article I was assigned to write about a four-year-old homeless girl and her mother who collected plastic bottles on the streets for a living. I later received an email from a German reader who was vacationing in Vieät Nam. He asked me if I could send a gift that he had purchased for her.

It was one of the most unforgettable experiences for me so far. The reader’s gift was also a gift for me, as it encouraged me to write human interest stories. I also learned another lesson: the importance of acknowledging the professionalism shown by a foreign colleague who helped me craft the story.

Today, I think journalism has become even more competitive, but it remains highly rewarding. From what I’ve learned, we must have a passion for truth, honesty and integrity. Most importantly, a reporter should have high ethical standards, an unbiased attitude, and an ability to be objective. That’s why I always remind myself that I must never stop improving so that I can continue to write stories that inform and inspire, and help Vieät Nam News become internationally recognised.

Hoàng Sơn

Hoàng Sơn, Business Desk, Hà Nội

Challenging work

Viet Nam News provides opportunities for young people to improve their knowledge and skills. The print and online newspaper also gives young folks a chance to access further education opportunities in Vieät Nam and other countries.

Writing a story is never easy, even when writing the story in our mother language. Writing brings me challenges which I need to adapt to and overcome. Viet Nam News articles are written in English. This makes work harder for a guy new to the business for two reasons.

First, I need to make sure my stories are direct, straight and clear. It took me months to get used to this new writing style. I was familiar with academic writing skills. But the expat editors help me correct mistakes in my stories and they help me improve my writing skills.

Second, working for the newspaper requires me to work late shifts. We also must ensure there are no mistakes in the newspaper when it is published the next morning.

On the other hand, my new job brings me challenges every day. These challenges motivate me to improve my knowledge and skills to meet the demands of senior managers and readers.

I’ve learned to think critically to find interesting news and stories that attract readers’ attention. To do so, I observe daily events more and see things from different viewpoints.

Khánh Dương

Khánh Dương, Domestic Desk, Hà Nội

New opportunities

I started working for Viet Nam News as an intern nearly one year ago. The first piece of news I was assigned was a brief on an accident. For the very first time, it took me a long while to complete the short news piece.

The first time I saw a Viet Nam News newspaper was when I was only five years old. My earliest memory of Viet Nam News is of piles of newspapers being turned out at the newspaper printing factory of Vietnam News Agency, where my mother worked the night shift. Every night, I followed her to work and grew familiar with the newspaper.

When I went to journalism college, majoring in International Affairs, Viet Nam News was a good source of information for us.

I owe a great debt of thanks to Viet Nam News as it offered a flexible working environment where I was able to nurture my dream of becoming a reporter. Every time I compose a news story, I remember that my job is to tell readers what I know in an interesting and reliable way.

Viet Nam News has also taken me on long field trips to new lands. Yet, each time I went on these journeys, I learned a lot and experienced new things as a cub reporter.

Yến Vy, Business Desk, Hà Nội

Learning experience

Viet Nam News was a good resource for me during university, when I studied the English language.

The newspaper provides a wide range of information about Vieät Nam and the world. This supported my studies a lot.

After graduating from university, I started working at Viet Nam News. It was a great honour for a new graduate like me to work for the newspaper I had been reading for a long time.

But as a reader, it was not easy for me to become a writer. Reporting is a challenging job. Reporters working at Vieät Nam News must be good at English. But they also need to develop their reporting skills continuously.

Every day I learn new things about many different subjects and deliver the news to my readers.

My efforts are rewarded when I see my stories in the newspaper. This motivates a young reporter like me to learn, develop and contribute to my work, office, and dear readers every day.

Hoàng Anh

Hoàng Anh, Sport Desk, Hà Nội

Finding the angle

I started working at Viet Nam News about a year and a half ago. The job was challenging at the beginning. Sometimes it is still challenging now. What I like and dread about the job is the pressure to meet deadlines, the search for a good angle for a story, and the excitement to see my work published in the newspaper.

My job at Viet Nam News offers me many opportunities to learn new things and to acquire knowledge about different subjects. The people at work are friendly and helpful.

The first time I saw the newspaper was onboard an airplane. I took the newspaper with me when I left the airport. I was holding onto it to remind me of home. I felt quite sentimental as it was my first time leaving the country.

Little did I know that one day I would be working at Viet Nam News. This has been quite a pleasant surprise so far. I’m glad that I’m here.

Chi Lan

Chi Lan, Domestic Desk, Hà Nội

Attention to details

English writing is already hard enough for Vietnamese. And English journalism writing is even harder. New vocabulary, grammar and linear structure of the articles, are different from how Vietnamese are accustomed to thinking and writing. Needless to say, I struggled for quite a while when I started off my journalism career at Viet Nam News.

John Ball was a very strict copy-editor. He takes his work seriously. During my first few months working at Viet Nam News, most of my articles were changed completely in John’s hands. He constantly asked questions about details I never thought of including in my articles, or the "weird" logic of the stories that would have been totally fine in Vietnamese writing.

But gradually, I saw a big improvement in my writing skills and, more importantly, the ability to think and structure my writing in a linear way. I can now see things more clearly from various viewpoints, explain the twists clearly and be able to write a good story. Thank you, John, and Viet Nam News, for giving me the chance to grow and polish the skills so essential for me on my career. VNS

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