The female journalist with almost 100 awards

June 22, 2022 - 07:33

Phương Liễu has devoted her professional career to journalist and, after 30 years, has a total of 98 journalism awards to show for it. 



Phương Liễu (left) collects information for an article. Photo provided by Phương Liễu

HÀ NỘI - Phương Liễu has devoted her professional career to journalist and, after 30 years, has a total of 98 journalism awards to show for it. 

As well as 98 awards from national and local levels, the 53-year-old reporter has achieved 40 certificates of merit from ministries and localities since she began writing 30 years ago.

The female reporter said: “Journalism has been my dream career since I was a student at the Faculty of Literature,  General University Hồ Chí Minh City.

"At the university, I practised writing articles for print newspapers and magazines. After graduating from the university, I worked for Đồng Nai newspaper until now.”

She has been working hard for the past 30 years, and her haul of awards shows it. 

"I always try my best. Usually, at the beginning of the year, I notice the launch of awards and writing contests, which I feel I can participate in, and I predict my ability."

Liễu is interested in the environment and healthcare however, she also achieved some awards in the fields of economics, law, energy and education.

She considers herself to be lucky with awards.

She is most remembered for investigative reports called "The path of hazardous industrial waste" in 2007. The series won accolades from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Việt Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment.

Liễu said: "Đồng Nai is the capital of industrial zones, so there is a lot of hazardous waste from factories. The problem is that some companies or waste treatment units only invest in machinery to deal with the authorities' inspection, but don’t operate the system because of high cost.”

“This is an underworld that I had to follow for nearly two years to find enough evidence. My advantage was that I had acquaintances at the industrial park who have supported me in understanding the hidden waste transactions.”

"There have been times when I have to run after trucks carrying hazardous waste from the factory to take pictures for evidence."

She even had to climb over the fence of a purchasing facility to get inside the processing area to see how toxic waste flowed into the river.

“When I collect enough information and pictures, I started the series with three stories."

After the series was published, there was a very positive effect. 

Đồng Nai Province authorities directed the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to re-check the capacity of hazardous waste collection and treatment units operating in the area. As a result, some violations were detected and dealt with.

“Đồng Nai is a densely populated province, complicated by many immigrants. There are a lot of problems of localities in the country here, so in my writings, many other localities also find themselves in it."

“Health and the environment are the two areas I have followed for a long time. I prefer both fields because these are issues that people are interested in and are close to daily life. “

However, when following a field for a long time, it is easy for journalists to go down the wrong path, have blunt ideas and not discover new and interesting problems, according to Liễu.

Liễu was very lucky to be supported by her husband and daughter, a high-school student, who always facilitate her trips away from home.

“I always find a balance in life from taking care of meals for my husband and children, arranging flowers, meeting friends and taking a camera to take pictures of beautiful scenes in the country,” she said. VNS