Saturday, October 29 2016


Study: Some reporters muzzled

Update: June, 21/2016 - 09:00
Domestic and foreign journalists watch as soldiers march in celebration of Vietnam’s National Day (September 2nd) in Hà Nội. The press is believed to play a significant role in influencing public opinion on major public issues.— VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The press plays an important role in influencing public opinion about major public issues, said delegates at a conference held yesterday on the occasion of National Journalism Day (June 21). But a report published at the conference also highlighted reporters’ difficulties in conveying information to readers.

Former deputy of the 12th National Assembly, Nguyễn Minh Thuyết, said today’s readers demand hot news but also deeper reflection, requiring media to report news and events in a clearer and more diversified manner.

Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Văn Hiến Việt Nam online magazine, Vũ Xuân Bân, said the responsibility placed on journalists requires them to always be honest, objective and patient and to always make the interests of the country and the nation a top priority, he said.

However, journalists also face many difficulties in reporting news and events, according to a study released yesterday by the Centre for Research on Development under the Việt Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations.

The independent study on factors affecting journalists’ work during the 2011-15 period found that the  working environment of journalists has become more complicated with higher risks.

Journalists are prevented from publishing certain information and have been threatened or attacked at a growing rate over the past five years.

In March, journalist Đỗ Doãn Hoàng from the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper was attacked by three suspects while on duty and driving a motorbike near Kim Văn-Kim Lũ Residential Area in Hoàng Mai District. He reported the incident to the district police immediately after it occurred. As an investigative journalist, his articles cast a spotlight on serious social issues, including wildlife traficking. 

Last November, two Giao Thông (Transport) newspaper reporters were attacked and their assets snatched while they were researching an investigative report on overloaded trucks carrying sand on roads in District 9 of HCM City. 

In some cases journalists are unable to get access to information, and their work tools are seized or damaged  to prevent them from publishing information.

Around 44 per cent of 1,134 surveyed journalists said they were prevented from publishing information at least once, according to the study.

It revealed that journalists often face obstacles when reporting issues relating to social events, land management, environmental protection, investigations and prosecution.

Participants also noted that the National Assembly’s approval of the Law on Information Access was a great success in promoting transparency in Việt Nam.

Editor-in-Chief of the Việt Nam Audio Visual Magazine, Phạm Bích San, stressed that many journalists still lack tools to report news and their stories reflect personal views rather than reality.

Government portal

The Chairman of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân yesterday visited the Government Portal on the occasion of national journalism day.

He congratulated the management board and staff of the Government portal on this occasion and praised their contribution to the dissemination information about Party and State policies and laws that support efforts to promote administrative reform and transparency of the State apparatus and agencies.

He noted that the Government portal needed to update its contents in keeping with the country’s deeper integration into the world.

Reporters and editors should improve ethics and professionalism to produce work that conveys accurate and speedy information to readers, he said. - VNS


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