Embracing digital reporting to stay up-to-date and relevant

June 22, 2021 | 10:00
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Digital transformation is having a significant impact on Vietnam’s media agencies. VIR’s Bich Ngoc talked with Hoang Viet Tien, deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Internet Association, about how the pandemic has sped up this process.

How has the digital transformation process affected the press and media of Vietnam?

Embracing digital reporting to stay up-to-date and relevant
Hoang Viet Tien, deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Internet Association

Digital transformation in journalism and communication is a transition from the traditional to the technology model of big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things. It creates a fundamental change in media agencies, thereby comprehensively affecting the activities of these units in both the way they work and their operating format.

Therefore, digital transformation should not be understood as simply digitalising and upgrading the application of ICT. It will also create breakthroughs in journalism and communication activities and bring about many social benefits.

Media agencies serve the public and meet their needs. Therefore digital transformation of the media is of utmost importance because they will be the main information channels replacing fake or unreliable social networks or news platforms.

How will the digital transformation process in the Vietnamese media take place?

The media will follow the significant digital transformation models of international media. Still, it will have a faster rate of change because Vietnam’s digital environment is adaptable and fast-paced.

The world’s major media channels have focused on serving customers who pay for long-term news subscriptions, and groups of customers with high personalisation needs.

Although the media has a variety of sources, it will be able to fight against fake news effectively. Many new applications support media in doing their tasks such as AI, including fighting against false news, and carrying out fact-checking activities.

What experiences from major press agencies and media groups worldwide can be learned in order to implement digital transformation?

Firstly, they must innovate the content and form of their press products. The popular forms of journalism that will likely prevail are videos, podcasts, and long-form articles, so much creative content is needed for these forms to satisfy readers.

Secondly, they have to change their business model and the management of the newsroom.

Last but not least is tech innovation, an inevitable part of the newsroom in the transformation process. The most effective strategies to reach users today include in-app with user experience optimisation, automated algorithms and behaviour learning, multi-channel, data exchange, and stable traffic sources.

In addition to these, in the post-pandemic period, online video and podcasting will become a bigger trend here, through YouTube, Spotify, and more. The implementation of 5G will be a crucial factor and media and publishers must carefully prepare for utilising their products on multi-channels and multi-platforms.

In operating digital platforms, how careful should media agencies be to ensure information and network security?

When utilising digital platforms, media agencies are also one of the top three targets of cybersecurity attacks. The Authority of Information Security recommends the press agency choose a network security partner that complies with national cybersecurity standards and regulations.

Vietnam has many track-record enterprises in network safety and security that can provide press agencies’ needs. For the database, the core part of any network, it is necessary to have a regular backup mechanism to prevent data loss or user data being stolen.

By Bich Ngoc

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