The conference was sponsored by the Vietnam 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 Vietnam’s doi moi process, and propose initiatives to strengthen Vietnamese journalism’s roles and improve the quality of media coverage.
VJA President Thuan Huu, 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, Pham Van 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,” Huu said.
Ho Quang Loi, 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 Vietnam 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 Vietnam 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.
Nguyen The Ky, a member of Party Central Committee and General Director of the Voice of Vietnam, 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.VNA