|Readers' digest: Soldiers at Truong Sa Archipelago's Sinh Ton Island are very happy to receive newspapers and magazines including Viet Nam Pictorial, from the mainland. — Photo courtesy of VNP photographer Vinh Quang.
by Ha Nguyen
Apicture is worth a thousand words, they say. Then what about thousands of pictures? That many people are doing the math can be seen in the congratulatory messages pouring in as the Viet Nam Pictorial (VNP) magazine prepares to celebrates its 60th anniversary next Wednesday.
"My family and I remain very keen on VNP's photographs. I particularly prefer the photos of Tay Nguyen and Truong Sa Islands taken by VNP photographers," veteran writer Nguyen Van Toai said.
Nathalie Carby of the United States wrote that she was so struck by the magazine that she wanted to contribute to it as a writer or photographer.
Matsuoka Kenji of Japan said he had witnessed many changes in the country over the 12 years that he has been living here.
"In 2000, there were few traffic lights in Ha Noi. At that time, I felt safe walking on the streets, but now I could get lost because of the huge traffic snarls that have developed together with many other things in new urban areas," he said.
"Ha Noi's economy, culture and tourism, as well as local living standards, have rapidly developed compared with the situation decades ago," he added.
"During this time, I have seen that VNP has also rapidly developed in its coverage of news in and outside the country. I can see that VNP correspondents and photographers have made great efforts to cover and update news from all aspects of life," Kenji said, adding that he hopes the magazine will continue to develop and help the country preserve and protect its beautiful traditions.
"I wish you continue achieving success with your wonderful magazine," Kenji said.
|Furious assault: Vietnamese soldiers attack French troops on the way to the historic Dien Bien Phu triumph in 1954. — Photo courtesy of VNP
VNP Editor-in-Chief Nguyen Thang said that over the past 60 years, the magazine's has truthfully, vividly and photographically chronicled stories of Viet Nam that can serve as valuable archive of information for future generations to learn about all aspects of life in Viet Nam, especially its people.
Those who contributed in compiling the first Viet Nam Pictorial 60 years ago were so smart that they selected the photograph of Bui Duy Ly, an army photographer, that featured a young soldier holding a little boy in his arms for the front cover. It manifested the desire for peace and happiness of a nation that had experienced wars waged in self-defence against foreign invaders.
"VNP is also a good place to train young correspondents and photographers," Thang added.
Young reporter Nguyen Thao Vy has been chosen to travel to the remote and isolated places of Truong Sa to cover stories of the daily life of residents and soldiers there, said Nguyen Trong Chinh, VNP managing editor.
As a result, she and her colleague, Viet Cuong, have writen seven articles running on VNP pages. They include Doan tu Truong Sa (United Truong Sa) and Lop Hoc Truong Sa (Class in Truong Sa), which have received much acclaim from readers.
Former deputy editor-in-chief Pham Tien Dung said Viet Nam Pictorial might be the only publication that has fully-preserved images of the famous Dien Bien Phu battle, from its preparations to its final world-shaking victory.
"In the past 60 years, generations of VNP correspondents have travelled with the country, capturing images of a nation unyielding in its defence of the homeland and diligent in rebuilding a country rich in humanity and long-standing cultural traditions. It is also a nation that loves peace and wants to be friends with other nations worldwide", Dung said.
"Many VNP war correspondents went to the front, cameras and weapons in hand, and some of them have laid down their lives heroically and left behind priceless photographs, he added.
|Burning bright: Dau an Dai Hung (Dai Hung Hall Mark) by Hoang Quang Ha who bagged the C national press prize 2012 and the A press prize of the Viet Nam News Agency the same year.
Through VNP pages, readers can travel throughout Viet Nam to enjoy the world heritage sites of Ha Long Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang and the country's renewal and development, along with marvellous results achieved and trials overcome, that transformed the country from a rice importer into one of the world's leading rice exporters.
VNP has covered oil and gas exploitation, coal mining, shipbuilding and airlines in the country so the rest of the world could learn more about the country's advance towards industrialisation and modernisation that attracts more foreign investment.
It delivered to readers pictures of international meetings and conferences of the APEC, ASEM and ASEAN, which Viet Nam hosted.
At present, Viet Nam Pictorial is distributed to 150 countries and printed in four languages: English, Chinese, Spanish and Lao. VNP online is available in eight languages, including Vietnamese, English, French and Russian, as well as Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, and accessible to people from more than 120 nations.
On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, VNP officially created an online page using the Khmer language of Viet Nam.
VNP was awarded the Independence Order 3rd Class, 2nd Class and First Class, as well as other notable orders. — VNS