VJA introduces “Dos” and “Don’ts” for journalists when using social networks

December 26, 2018 - 17:00

Việt Nam Journalists Association (VJA) on Tuesday announced rules that instruct Vietnamese journalists the “do’s and don’ts” when using social networks.

VJA Standing Vice Chairman Hồ Quang Lợi at a press conference on Tuesday announcing the rules on using digital social networks for Vietnamese journalists. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam Journalists Association (VJA) on Tuesday announced rules that instruct Vietnamese journalists the “do’s and don’ts” when using social networks.

Those who break the rules, depending on levels of violations, will be disciplined by their employers. In the case of serious violations, offenders will be punished in accordance with VJA’s regulations and Việt Nam’s laws and regulations.

According to the newly-announced rules, when creating an account on digital social networks, journalists are called on using the personal account for sharing and providing information helpful to society and the country.

They are urged to comment responsibly over issues that concern people.

Journalists should report to authorised agencies untrue information that goes viral on social networks and leaves a negative impact on the public, country as well as reputation of organisations/individuals.

Journalists are encouraged to detect and verify information on social networks before reporting it.

Besides the four “do’s”, VJA’s rules also point out eight “don’ts” for journalists to follow.

They must not create or remove writings/images/sounds on social network for blackmail or other bad purposes. They must not create writings/images/sounds or share information created by other persons when the information is against Party, State and Government’s policies or against the point of view of the press agencies where they work.

Journalists should not provide under their social network accounts any information that is not verified, causing confusion or losses to socio-economic activities, causing difficulties for Government bodies’ activities.

Information that provokes violence/conflicts or promotes superstition, gender discrimination, racism should not be shared by journalists.

VJA permanent Vice Chairman Hồ Quang Lợi said the rules on using social networks for Vietnamese journalists elaborated one of ten codes of ethnics for Vietnamese journalists that VJA issued in 2016. The association has about 23,000 members including reporters, editors, and staff working at press agencies, journalism schools or journalism management offices.

"Now is the era of digital social networks where millions of people can join and information is provided multidimensionally, which help readers have more objective and comprehensive views," Lợi said.

However, he added that social networks left negative impacts on press and media, particularly when journalists/reporters relied on information available on social network, and reported unverified information, which violated their professional codes of ethnics, eroded trust put in journalism by readers and negatively affected social stability.

Nguyễn Văn Hùng, 61, of Hà Nội said he created a Facebook account two years ago after his friends suggested he should, saying it was a way to keep abreast with news and information available on the social networks.

He said that while visiting pages of newspapers, he also followed famous people including journalists and columnists of the newspaper.

“I learn a lot for what they share,” he said.

“Multidimensional information means that you can read different stories with different views about the same news. You cannot trust everyone. You have to select who to trust,” he said. — VNS