Sunday, March 29 2020


30 years of VN journalism reform

Update: December, 30/2016 - 09:52
Việt Nam Journalists Association President Thuận Hữu (left) awards first prize of the “ASEAN One Community” press photo contest to Mongkolchai Panyatrakul from the Thai Rath newspaper for his photo of the Water Festival in Thai Nong Khai province. The awards ceremony was held in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết.
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — More than 200 leaders of news agencies, journalist associations, journalism training institutes, as well as scientists and journalists from across the country gathered in Hà Nội yesterday at a conference entitled “Journalism after 30 years of đổi mới (renewal process) - theoretical and practical issues.”

The conference was sponsored by the Việt Nam Journalists Association (VJA), the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Publicity and Education and the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The gathering acted as a platform for participants to review accomplishments and shortcomings of Vietnamese journalism and communications over the past 30 years (1986-2016), the period of Việt Nam’s đổi mới (renewal) process, and propose initiatives to strengthen Vietnamese journalism’s roles and improve the quality of media coverage.

VJA President Thuận Hữu, a member of the Party Central Committee, said that 30 years is a meaningful period during which the reform process initiated and led by the Party has gained historic accomplishments acknowledged by the domestic and international public.

Journalism played a leading role in disseminating and promoting the reform policies of the Party, he said. Journalism has also renewed itself to catch up with the development of the country, meeting increasing demand of the revolutionary cause and gaining many meaningful achievements, he added.

Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Publicity and Education, Phạm Văn Linh, said journalism management and orientation in 2016 underwent encouraging changes. Many news agencies contributed to the fight against corruption, protecting the country’s sovereignty and rejecting incorrect and distorted information by hostile forces.

“However, in the context of unpredicted developments in world affairs and new political tasks, journalism has shown shortcomings. Besides new opportunities, journalism has to overcome challenges,” Hữu said.

Hồ Quang Lợi, VJA vice president, said that a lot of journalism information lacks orientation and focusses on negative issues. Information that harms Vietnamese customs is still allowed to be published in newspapers.

Many TV programmes air "tactless" content, causing anger among the public, he said.   

Discussing journalist ethics, experienced journalist Phan Quang, former VJA president, said “The 1995 journalism ethics code of Việt Nam mentions uprightness of journalists. However, now there are more and more reporters who sit at home, type on computers and plagiarise others’ work.”

“The journalism ethics code of Việt Nam was issued a long time ago but has yet to be put into practice,” Quang asked.

This year, the Journalism Ethics Code has been adjusted and the revised version will take effect next year.

Journalist Phan Quang spoke highly of the new code, saying that Clause No10 in which press workers must pledge to adhere to the code, is their responsibility and up to their conscience.

Nguyễn Thế Kỷ, a member of Party Central Committee and general director of the Voice of Việt Nam, said that journalism has developed into various forms. News agencies have focused on renewing and improving news quality.

However, language in the mass media is used improperly in many cases, with carelessly-written words and sentences. Shocking headlines are made to lure readers, but fail to reflect the facts.

“Vietnamese language use on media will affect negatively and widely on the public, especially the youth,” he said, suggesting relevant agencies complete laws on Vietnamese and language use.

Each news agency should have a unit tasked with overseeing language use, he said.

The conference welcomed nearly 90 thematic reports from journalists and researchers, focusing on three topics: general view of theoretical and specialist skill issues of journalism; practical issues including those related to journalism management, trends of modern journalism and adaptation of Vietnamese journalism; and journalist ethics. — VNS

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