The role of the press in social supervision and criticism
Strengthening the role ofsocial supervision and criticismin the press is essential, especially in the current period, when the entire Party and people are focusing on promoting the cause of industrialization and modernization of the country.
VUSTA gave certificate of merit to the press agencies within VUSTA’ system in 2019
Practical requirements ofsocial supervision and criticism
Social supervision and criticismmean the participation of individuals, political organizations and social organizations in an issue, certain guideline or policy of the State to improve such guideline and policy increasingly in practice, meet social needs, create consensus, and better serve national affairs and people's livelihood.
Therefore, social supervision and criticismis the gathering of creativity and intelligence of all strata, creating internal strength to solve social problems; as the democratization of social life, a measure of the development level of a society. Social criticism is the gathering of community power to solve social problems. Therefore, doing well the work of social criticism is creating a great power for revolutionary action movements.
Criticism and self-criticism are the "way to make life better and better... ". In a position of power, the appreciation of criticism will help social criticism, which is of great help to stability and development; on the contrary, avoiding social criticism will lead to spontaneous social criticism - a favorable land to form social opposition.
In the context of one ruling party in our country, besides the basic advantages there is the potential for the situation of voluntarism and subjective will. Therefore, it is necessary to have a specific, clear and transparent mechanism for people to express their opinions openly, carry out monitoring, social criticism.
This is really necessary for drafts, projects, major plans and decisions of the Party, the State, and the political system. Monitoring, social criticism will help the Party, the Government, the political system to test whether the guidelines and policies are really lawful and popular with the people, help the Party and the political system be truly for the people to make the people believe in the Party and follow the Party. Through the Fatherland Front and its unions, the people contribute their opinions on guidelines and policies, facilitating to constantly improve the Party and State's guidelines and policies; helping the Party's leadership and State management become better and better, thus serving the people more and more effectively.
People participate in monitoring, social criticism as the subordinated, leader, executor, and servant and beneficiary. Recognizing the importance of monitoring, social criticism, the Resolution of the 10 thCongress of the Party affirmed: “Promoting the role and creating favorable conditions for the Fatherland Front and mass organizations to take part in building guidelines and policies of the Party and the State, performing the role of monitoring, social criticism".
The functions of the Press in monitoring, social criticism
Monitoring, social criticism is one of the basic functions of the press. Over the years, the press has performed quite well this function, together with the Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations, the people actively participated in monitoring, social criticism, contributing significantly to creating a consensus and unification in the performance of two strategic tasks of building and defending the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
At the 11 thCongress, the Communist Party of Vietnam officially acknowledged and requested the Vietnam’s revolutionary press to take on the role of social criticism. The Resolution of the Congress stated: “Focusing on improving the ideology, promoting strongly the function of information, education, organization and social criticism of the mass media for the benefit of the people and our country...”. Earlier, in the Central Resolution No.6 (second time) Session VIII (February 1999), our Party affirmed that the press and the mass media were one of four social monitoring systems. This is an important development step in theory and awareness of the Party about the social role of the press and the mass media.
Monitoring, social criticism of the press in the process of implementing the Party and State's guidelines, policies and laws promptly detected the agencies doing well, for praising, encouraging and summarizing practices; At the same time, it also discovered the "shortcomings" of policy-institutional constructions, thereby improving the quality of governance of the state apparatus. The role and power of social criticism of the press are first and foremost detecting good deeds and mistakes of organizations and individuals thereby originating and directing public opinion in the direction of supporting or countering, create pressure on public opinion and request competent authorities to resolve, explain and answer the public and the people.
The more society develops, the more democracy will expand, and the power of its people will be strengthened, especially the right to supervise public administrations, public servants and officials of state administrative agencies to limit, control the abuse of power. Because when political power, state power is not strictly controlled, it will lead to abuse; the abuse of power leads to alienation of power. Therefore, strengthening the role of monitoring, social criticism of the Fatherland Front, political organizations, the people and the press is extremely necessary, especially in the current period, when the entire Party and people are focusing on promoting the cause of industrialization and modernization of the country.
Over the past years, the press has actively participated in social supervision and feedback, actively contributing to the Party’s instructions and guidelines; policies and laws of the State; fighting against the hostile, wrong allegations, preventing corruption, negative and social evils that are hindering the development of the country. In the fight against corruption, the press plays the role of a subject that initiates social feedback most strongly. Most of the events and phenomena mentioned by the press have created pressure as well as created opportunities and conditions for the authorities to fight against corruption.
In fact, many big negative cases, although sophisticated tricks and acts of corruption, have been exposed by the people and the press. Although there are still limitations and shortcomings of the press participation in fighting against negatives and corruption, one thing must be affirmed, the press always takes the lead in the fight against negatives and corruption. The spread of the press is very fast and wide, especially in the trend of journalism connected to the global internet. That is the practical basis for the media to actively participate in monitoring, social criticism.
In its role of monitoring, social criticism, the press not only informs but also expresses opinions and views on real life issues in the society. In recent times, many legal documents of the ministries and central agencies stipulate that they are not practical, have not been issued or have just been issued then could not exist, such as regulating that flat breast must not drive; Hero Vietnamese mothers are entitled to earn extra scores for the university entrance exam; put parents' names on people's identity cards; regulations on funeral wreaths; regulating that food must not be kept more than 8 hours, or a draft circular stipulating that the places for drinking beer must have temperature below 30 degrees C ...
When the drafts of the above-mentioned legal documents of ministries and branches were commented by the people or when they were informed, the press had simultaneously criticized and resulted in many ministries and branches must revoke the draft, or amend the legal issued documents. On the other hand, the press has also raised the issue, opened a forum to gather opinions of scientists, experts and people of all classes to contribute comments to the draft of legal documents, to help the agency formulate legal, executive, judicial amendments to the content and regulations of that document in accordance with real life and society, gradually improving the socialist legislation.
Sticking to events, quick and sharp information, grasping the true nature of the event, analyzing key issues and the ideological orientation, guiding the public opinion, the press - media agencies have well performed the function of monitoring, social criticism, bringing remarkable efficiency. Therefore, the role, the function of monitoring, social criticism of the press has been increasingly affirmed and the strength of the press, the public's faith in the press-media agencies has also been increasingly enhanced. However, the reality has shown that, not always, every press agency or journalist does the right thing, doing well the function of social montioring and criticism.
There have been many cases of press assessment which is not true, not objective, lacking in justice, misleading feedback, leading to many unpredictable consequences for individuals, collectives and localities. Giving inaccurate, dishonest and objective information, even fabricating, blackening or coloring for personal or self-seeking motives. The decline in political, ethical and lifestyle ideologies, violations of professional ethics and law violations of some officials, editors and reporters of the press agencies have been increased.
There are many causes, including personal interests, writing articles, dishonest and unobserved news reporting, or due to limited knowledge, lack of understanding of individuals in the field of social criticism, therefore, they did not have comprehensive view, only capturing information and reflecting subjectively the issue, without going into details of the issues.
On the other hand, in the face of the globalization of information, the "flat world", social networking sites flourished, a lot of information was freely posted online, uncontrolled, then bad news, malicious news, harm, smear, fabricate information were hide in monitoring, social criticism, causing many troubles for managers as well as causing confusion public opinion. Therefore, it is essential to have a team of professional, capable, qualified, political quality, professional journalists to fight against those wrong acts and deviations by accurately, truthfully and objectively informing the facts, issues and orienting public opinion.
Promoting functions of monitoring, social criticismof the press
In order to better perform the press’s role in monitoring, social criticism, it is necessary to focus on the following aspects:
Firstly, it is necessary to propagate and raise awareness about the position and role of monitoring, social feedback in the society. Social feedback is stated in the Party Congress document: “Social criticism is to promote socialist democracy and people's ownership, a sense of responsibility of the people in participating in state management, making suggestions to cadres, civil servants and state agencies. All guidelines, policies and laws of the Party and State serve the interests of the majority of people. The people not only have the rights but also have the responsibility to participate in the planning and implementation of the Party and State guidelines and policies. Monitoring, social criticism is a necessary and compulsory demand of the process of leading and operating the country and eliminatin bureaucracy”. It is necessary to have specific and clear mechanisms for people to express their opinions openly and to criticize the major drafts, plans, projects and decisions of the Party and State. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct extensive propaganda for the entire society to better understand the implementation of social supervision and feedback function; about contributing to the press together to perform well the function of monitoring, social criticism.
Secondly, perfecting the legal system to ensure the activities of monitoring, social criticism of the press. Monitoring, social criticism of the press is both a social activity and a scientific activity, binding rights and responsibilities of the subjects in the criticism process. At present, the monitoring, social criticism function of the press has just only enshrined in the Party's guidelines, which has not been institutionalized into law by the State, so the legal mechanism for the media's monitoring, social criticism has not been clearly and fully determined yet. It is necessary to develop and improve the legal framework for the monitoring, social criticism of the press towards meeting the requirements of building the State of socialist rule of law of the people, by the people and for the people; building a clean, effective and efficient administration in accordance with the tendency to convert to a service-oriented administrative system, well performing the task of building a socialist-oriented market economy and international integration. In the current trend of democratization, it is necessary to state clearly the mechanism of monitoring, social criticism of the press as a basic law, to ensure the work of monitoring, social criticism and enforce the mechanism of the press.
Thirdly, raising awareness, creating consensus of the whole political system so that the press can well perform its monitoring, social criticism. The essence of social criticism is the responsibility community of Party agencies, the State and the entire society. And although, monitoring, social criticism is one of the basic functions of the press as mentioned above, but in reality, the press cannot be "alone" in the monitoring, social criticism that needs to be community responsibility of the Party, State and the entire society.
Recently, the implementation of regulations on publicity and transparency in activities of agencies and organizations is still limited. There are areas where there is no regulation on publicity and transparency, resulting in the abuse of regulations on state secrets to not disclose the contents that can and need to be public and transparent, especially in determining valuation and auction of state-owned assets upon equitization and publicization of financial statements in enterprises with State capital; public clearance of land, compensation prices upon land acquisition; publicity in cadre work; publicizing inspection activities, settling complaints and denunciations and inspection conclusions; public and transparent decisions in investigation, prosecution, trial, judgment execution; publicity in setting tax rates... making it difficult for the press to access information sources to conduct monitoring, social criticism. Therefore, for the press to perform well the function of monitoring, social criticism, it is necessary to participate in, the community's responsibility of both society and the Party and State agencies.
Fourthly, education and training to improve professional qualifications, political bravery, professional ethics and social responsibility for journalists.
This is an important factor, because the human element is at the core of every issue. Journalists must be constantly improved in terms of professional competence, because a journalist who is weak in professional capacity will probably not be qualified enough to be aware of the true nature of the incident to criticize the problem, easily leading to fatal errors.
Along with that, it is very necessary to regularly strengthen the work of political theory education and legal education for journalists in order to enhance the political spirit and raise professional awareness for journalists. Each journalist needs to promote self-discipline, self-discipline professional ethics on a regular basis, continuously, throughout his life through practical professional activities. On the other hand, it is also necessary to have the supervision and education of the press office where the journalist directly works, attach his or her life to the profession, because only the press agency directly educates and encourages reminders, deterrents, timely and effectively handling violations of professional ethics of journalists.