Tháng Năm 11, 2006 at 10:30 chiều 2 comments

Freedom of the Press – But Within Limits 

Vietnam’s press law says that there shall be no censorship. Still, all Vietnamese journalists well recognize their responsibility. They know who they are.”

Vietnam’s press walks a fine line as it tries to satisfy the demands of this nation of readers (88 percent are literate) while obeying government guidelines.
In January 1995, the authorities shut down the monthly magazine Tri Thuc VA Cong Nghe (Intellectuals and Workers) for apparently violating both standards. The Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan (People’Daily) reported, without further explanation, that the magazine had “published articles with a tone that did not conform with the law or its readers.”Earlier that month, distribution of an issue of Nguoi Hanoi (Hanoian Weekly) was halted because an article criticized the government’s ban on firecrackers during the lunar New Year celebration.Or take the case of the Tuoi Tre (Youth), one of the country’s most popular newspapers, with a circulation of 150,000.[1] There years ago, the editor in chief, Kim Hanh Vu, was fired because the paper had published an article that said the late Ho Chi Minh, leader of the country’s Communist revolution and wars of independence, was a married man, not a lifelong bachelor as stared in his official biography.The newspaper’s present deputy editor in chief, Huynh Son Phuoc, explained the status of freedom of the press in
Vietnam like this.

Vietnam’s press law says that there shall be no censorship. Still, all Vietnamese journalists well recognize their responsibility. They know who they are. All of them are employed by the government. There is no privately owned press in
Vietnam. Therefore, editors who are appointed by the government control and edit all news and information from reporters.
“In principle, no subject is banned, but in reality, all subjects that violate laws and regulations and culture traditions or threaten the one-party system in
Vietnam are restricted. Editors will publish no stories of this sort.”
Since economic reforms began in 1986, investigative journalism of the Vietnamese press has exposed embezzlement, bribery and other corruption by government officials. Minister of Energy Vu Ngoc Hai was convicted on corruption charges and sentenced to three years in prison in 1994 after the press had revealed his misdeeds.Luu Van Han, chief of the press division of the Ministry of Culture and Information, say that press exposeùs arouse public interest and educate the people about the role of the mass media in a socialist nation with a market economy.Minister of Culture and Information Tran Hoan says that the press has “contributed significantly to the renewal of ideology and the broadening of democracy [and protected] the people’s right to know.”Hoan goes on, however, to warn against “commercialization and profit minded trends.” He says news publications that try to appeal to low-income readers could hinder the reform process if they printed sensational news, violating people’s privacy and catering to “morbid curiosity.” 

*Tran Ngoc Chau (Worldwise, U.S.A.2-1997) 

[1] At this point of time(2006) this figure doubles( 300,000)


Entry filed under: Viet Nam My Love.

Thăm làng Handorf You Don’t See Spot Before You Eat Him

2 phản hồi Add your own

  • 1. Nguyễn đình Mai  |  Tháng Sáu 2, 2006 lúc 4:23 sáng

    The Author should add some comments of his present viewpoint if he wants to be impartial as the way of of thiking he showed in the Article “America can’t save the few”.

    Phản hồi
  • 2. tranngocchau  |  Tháng Sáu 4, 2006 lúc 11:52 sáng

    Thanks a lot for your reading and comment. Will do it,especially at this point of time.

    Phản hồi

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