Tuesday, September 22 2020


Outdated relic or still useful tool?

Update: February, 03/2017 - 06:00
Loudspeakers, once a wartime necessity, are being seen as irrelevant in a rapidly modernising city like Hà Nội. Many want these abolished, saying they are annoying and cause noise pollution. — Photo baodatviet.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The capital city’s residents will have a say in deciding the fate of the public address system – used widely when the country was at war.

Long used to convey important messages as well as information on the weather conditions and other developments, many people feel they’ve become outdated in a rapidly modernising city.

The Hà Nội Department of Information and Communication is carrying out a series of public polls to garner opinion for a report on the PA system in particular and information systems for the city in general.

For the first phase, the department has opened an online poll at https://hanoi.gov.vn/tham-do-y-kien (available in Vietnamese only).

Four short and simple questions are asked about the way people are acquiring information: whether via PA system, or newspaper, or internet, etc.; whether the content broadcast by the PA system is relevant or helpful; whether the residents are listening to the PA in the morning or in the afternoon; and whether they are in favour of keeping the PA system going in its current form, or having it changed.

At the time of going to press, 68 per cent of respondents have said the content is irrelevant, and 74 per cent favour abolishing PA system.

Additional comments and proposals can also be sent to the department via email to: pbcxbtt_sotttt@hanoi.gov.vn.

The online poll will conclude on March 17. The department will then publish both the poll results and its evaluation of PA system citywide. The municipal People’s Committee will take a final decision on the issue after gathering information and opinions.

Hoisted on top of power poles or street lamps during the 60s and 70s when the American War was fought, the loudspeakers were used to warn people of bombing raids so they could rush to underground shelters.

Today, they announce a wide range of information, ranging from neighbourhood news to policy provisions and warnings about diseases. They are also used to play patriotic songs.

Many residents, especially those in the proximity of loudspeakers, are irritated and resentful about these devices. They find its announcements untimely and loud, sometimes too early in the morning or too late in the evening.

Besides, the residents say they can get all the information they need from the internet or other media.

Mai Liêm Trực, former deputy minister of the MoIC is of the opinion that these public loudspeakers have “fulfilled their historical mission” but are outdated and need to be removed.

Trương Minh Tuấn, minister of MoIC, has conceded that public loudspeakers in urban areas have been rendered obsolete with the advent of newer, faster, and more effective communication methods in the digital age.

However, he said, PA system must still be maintained in rural areas, including remote or mountainous areas, because they can still deliver crucial information in cases of emergencies or natural disasters. — VNS


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