As part of a Danish-funded project to promote free press, mass media training course held in the northern province of Quang Ninh in the weekend for representatives from more than 20 Vietnamese press agencies, to share experiences in journalism and opinions on the rights of the press and issues of concern to readers.
The course’s chief lecturer, Anya Schiffrin, from the Columbia New York press college said that ten years ago, the communications industry in Vietnam was poor, and foreigners in Vietnam found it difficult to access information. Currently, however, the press is much improved, though information availability is still poor and unattractive, she pointed out.Schiffrin highlighted that improving communications is a necessary strategy for foreigners to better understand the Vietnamese people and their country in the Internet age.
Le Van Nghiem, Head of the External Information Department of the Information and Communications Ministry, explained that in mid-2007, the government promulgated a regulation stipulating that each state agency has a press spokesman. In fact, only a few agencies have paid due attention to this, while the abuse of ‘secret information’ is posing a big challenge to reporters and journalists.
The Danish-funded project to assist Vietnam with legislative and legal reform in the 2006-2009 period costs about US$2 million. Beneficiaries of the project include the National Assembly Office, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and the Ministry of Justice.