Foreign journalists to get access to officials
HA NOI (VNS)— Journalists of foreign news organisations working in Viet Nam will soon be allowed to make direct contact with ministries and other authorities in their reporting activities instead of having to go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as they do now.
The change is contained in Decree 88/2012/ND-CP which will replace Decree 67/CP, to take effect from December 20 this year.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said the new decree was aimed at creating favourable conditions and flexibility for information gathering by foreign journalists, representative offices and organisations working in Viet Nam.
The change in procedures would also meet the country's demands of international development and exchange, integration and co-operation with other countries.
Representative offices previously had to be located in Ha Noi. The new decree states they may be located anywhere in the country, providing they get written approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant people's committee.
Also, the validity of a Foreign Journalist Card will be increased from six to 12 months in accordance with the duration of their visas. To request a card, resident journalists must send or hand a dossier to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Non-resident journalists working in the country must have a Press Permit issued by the Viet Nam Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To receive the permit they must apply to the ministry or an overseas Vietnamese consular office at least 10 working days before coming to Viet Nam. The authorities will reply with their final decision during that time.
Foreign journalists are allowed to temporarily import necessary devices like cameras and recorders. They are also allowed to temporarily import equipment to receive and transmit news directly through satellite. They have permission to transmit videos overseas through the national telecommunication network in accordance with the law.
In order to circulate publications, such as newspapers, magazines and pamphlets, foreign offices or organisations must send a written request to the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for notification. The publications must be in line with the Vietnamese press journalism and publishing laws and other relevant provisions.
Violators will be fined in accordance with Viet Nam's law.
There are five chapters and 27 clauses regulating the responsibilities of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Information and Communication, Culture, Sport and Tourism and the people's committees in cities and provinces.
Nghi said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would issue an ordinance to help media workers follow the decree. — VNS