Chu Van Hoa, head of the Department of Printing and Publishing under the Ministry of Information and Communications, spoke to Tin Tuc (News) about publishing houses' transgressions.
What do you think of the recent violations due to publishing houses' carelessness and lax management?
Many people think the Department of Printing and Publishing approves books before they are published, but that is not so. About 30,000 books are published every year, and the department only has 30 employees. The responsibility for publishing books is thus assigned to directors or editors-in-chief at publishing houses.
When violations occur, the Department steps in. The department discovers, suspends and destroys hundreds of books each year.
Regarding this issue, we need capable publishing house directors. In reality, there are still directors who don't know the Law on Publishing very well.
The Ministry of Information and Communications recently issued a decree on publishing, which created a legal basis for discovering publishing violations. This has thus helped us discover many publishing violations, like the recent cases.
What is your opinion on co-ordination between publishing houses, printers and distributors?
I think the co-ordination between such parties is necessary in order to create diversity in the publishing industry. But it's also a challenging time for the industry. For some time, publishing houses have been selling their licenses to printers without examining the products. This can lead to violations. But again, the Department of Publishing and Printing needs co-operation from local authorities and other sectors to manage the publishing industry properly.
Again, we need to have competent people working in the publishing houses who know the law well and are devoted to their jobs. The Government also needs to support publishing houses financially.
What measures is the department going to implement to prevent these violations?
If more violations occur, we will have to fine every individual involved in the case. I would also suggest stricter supervision in the publishing industry.
We also have to establish competent publishing houses with leaders who can take responsibility for their operations.
Some people blame the violations on the fact that we allow co-ordination among publishing houses, printers and distributors. But I don't agree. Such co-ordination is necessary in the publishing and printing industry. What we have to do is allow the State to manage the co-ordination so parties cannot take advantage of it for illegal purposes. — VNS