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2021-12-20 08:34

Prevent press from being “overwhelmed” under the social media “attack”

Ha Noi – October, 27 2021 - “The role of VUSTA press in the development of the cyberspace” was held and co-hosted by VUSTA Vice President Pham Quang Thao and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Loi, Standing Vice President of the Vietnam Journalists Association, Editor-in-chief of Nguoi Lam Bao Magazine.

Panoramic scenario

The seminar focused on discussing the issues that stem from the development of information on the cyberspace in order to have an objective outlook from which solutions can be found to help the VUSTA press system grow and create valuable, unbiased, influential and attractive publications.

VUSTA Vice President Pham Quang Thao in his opening speech

In his opening speech, Dr. Pham Quang Thao, Vice President of Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association clarified that, VUSTA press has always emphasized on abiding to its mission and it has always followed current regulations of the 2016 Law on the Press, the Publication Law, and other laws. VUSTA central activities on assessment and social feedback consulting; knowledge, science and technology awareness; international cooperation… are informed, up-to-date and diverse. However, in order to maximize the potential of VUSTA press and fulfill its role as the mouthpiece of the Party and the Government, news agencies in the VUSTA system must do even better. They must set their courses and growth direction to reaffirm their roles as effective communication tools, contributing to the development of the nation as a whole and of VUSTA in particular.

Journalist Bui Hoang Tam (Dan Tri Newspaper) at the seminar

According to journalist Bui Hoang Tam (Dan Tri Newspaper), news agencies nowadays are under constant pressure and challenges from social media. The development of the internet means that anyone can be a “journalist”. Facebookers, Youtubers… are everywhere, always posting information, most of which are misleading or even fabricated. The lack of speed from conventional journalism not only exposes readers to false information which leads to false perspectives, but also diminishes the role of press on the communication front. In order for a newspaper to grow on the cyberspace, according to journalist Bui Hoang Tam, there needs to be a competent leader, accurate information and the technology to deliver them.

Journalist Tran Trong An - Deputy editor-in-chief of Gia Dinh Moi Online Newspaper

In terms of developing separate online newspaper in the current context of the internet, journalist Tran Trong An - Deputy editor-in-chief of Gia Dinh Moi Online Newspaper argues that, newspapers are gradually losing their monopoly in delivering fast, multi-faceted information to its readers to the ever-expanding cyberspace and the boundless platforms like Facebook, YouTube or TikTok. The space for press is becoming smaller in terms of both reach and revenue. This trend put news agencies at a life-or-death decision: Developing a paid press system or specialized press on the basis of verified information, accompanied by credible experts. According to journalist Tran Trong An, specialized press is the appropriate model for the current press planning, while also maximizing the strengths of each individual news agency. By following this trend, newspapers can freely select their own specializations (automobiles, audio and visual, medical) or their target audience (men, women, golfers, plant enthusiasts…). Each news agency can utilize their personal advantages, spreading works of research and reasoning, or useful, positive information to readers through social media. In reality, there are many online news sites that have no advantages of newspaper or magazines but they succeed in specializing in attracting both readers and revenue from advertisements.

Journalist Nguyen Danh Chau - Deputy editor-in-chief of Literacy & Life (Tri thuc & Cuoc song) Newspaper

Journalist Pham Viet Long - Editor-in-chief of Culture and Development (Van hoa & Phat Trien) Newspaper clarified: The cyberspace is expanding explosively, whereas management can barely keep up. There is not enough incentive for press in general and VUSTA press in particular to participate in the internet. What’s more, there are even some anti-social media movements, with hopes of slowing the platforms’ development. In order to affirm the role of communications on social media - according to journalist Pham Viet Long - changes need to happen management-wise, from perception to action, in order to create an effective mechanism for newspapers to join the Internet. In particular, online newspaper needs to be appreciated. On the other hand, in order to capitalize on the cyberspace, the press - VUSTA press in particular - needs to be renovated, from perception to action. There needs to be more investments, particularly on human resources, intellect and technology so that the newspapers and magazines themselves can take over the cyberspace. Furthermore, online newspapers must have other activities on other social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, YouTube… as a Fanpage or personal profiles of journalists to help deliver true information onto the Internet.

Journalist Vu Tuan Anh, Editor-in-chief of Doanh nhan & Phap ly Magazine

Journalist Vu Tuan Anh, Editor-in-chief of Doanh nhan & Phap ly Magazine argued that the Internet is growing too rapidly, and the freedom of uploading news onto online newspapers as well as social media can lead to difficulties in differentiating genuine information by legitimate news agencies from fake news. As such, an alliance among news agencies to protect legitimate news sources is extremely necessary, considering the current climate. To coexist with social media, distribute ad revenue and survive in a competitive news environment, news agencies must cooperate in delivering copyrighted news, referencing each other articles; agreeing on sharing news sources, sharing the same opinions to develop information flows, article channels and subjects. This may come as a disadvantage for larger newspapers with their higher view count, but within the cyberspace this can be remedied by publishing news early on the Internet.

Journalist Nguyen Thieu Anh - Suc khoe & Moi truong Magazine

Journalist Nguyen Thieu Anh from Suc khoe & Moi truong Magazine, President of the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health believed that it is time for the press to change. Each stage of social development creates opportunities and challenges to the press. With pressure from social media, journalists must even more determined, constantly self-improving to catch up with the trends of contemporary media, while also contributing to sociopolitical stability and the nation’s sustainability. News from the press is verifiable, specialized, analytical and also features diverse commentary - something unavailable on social media.

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Loi, Standing Member of Vietnam Journalists Association, Editor-in-chief of Nguoi lam bao Magazine

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Loi, Standing Member of Vietnam Journalists Association, Editor-in-chief of Nguoi lam bao Magazine affirmed that the press needs to consider social media as both a partner and a competitor. Social media is an information collection, verification and expansion center, and a channel for advertisement for the news agency. However, social media can also negatively impact the press, most notably with the floods of fake news, which has drastic effects on the revenue of newspapers, making them susceptible to misleading information. If news agencies are to make a name for themselves, they will need good content, bleeding-edge technology, be able to satisfy the public needs and abide by the purposes of the newspaper; ensure the economical integrity of the newspaper; categorize different public groups and identify target ones; construct and guide the brand of the newspaper, and create valuable, socially impactful publications.

PV. Photos: Van Nam

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