Professionalism to stay digital flood

June 21, 2021 | 22:33
Muddled information on social networking sites makes readers lose faith, and nowadays they are not only looking for professionalism and accuracy but also humanity in each article. Ho Quang Loi, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Journalists Association, talked with VIR’s Thuy Lien his thoughts about contemporary journalism.

Social networking platforms are a magnet for today’s readers, while many press agencies are competing for their attention. What does journalism offer readers that these sites do not?

Professionalism to stay digital flood
Ho Quang Loi, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Journalists Association

Social networking platforms are putting a lot of pressure on press agencies due to unlimited transmission speed and connectivity. It is difficult for press agencies to outperform social networking in terms of speed. However, press agencies provide professionalism, work ethic, and humanity. We may not be able to spread news faster than social media, but we maintain higher standards of reporting.

Journalism is about defending truth and justice. However, for this, the press must not only stay combative but also uphold the values of humanity.

Behind each journalistic work is an identity, a person, a family, a village, and a cultural background. The press is not only reporting, but also sharing insights to improve society. No matter how developed a society is, it cannot proper without human love. Each journalistic work, therefore, must exude humanity.

Many say that journalists and newspapers have been swept away by the flood of muddled, chaotic information on social networking platforms. What is your view on this?

Information on social networks is spinning rapidly out of control while many readers demand clean and intellectual information. Journalism with its political bravery, professionalism, and ethics must answer the issues raised by social networking platforms based on law and ethics. This is the only way to develop humane journalism for the sake and respect of the people.

I am very proud that the Vietnamese press has performed its role very well in a timely and responsible manner with creativity, commitment, and courage. Many young journalists have demonstrated respectable professionalism, which is a beautiful tradition here.

Undeniably, some newspapers have been commercialised to chase after cheap and sensational news that make readers lose faith. However, the mainstream trend is still positive, fostering trust in society and protecting and promoting the spiritual values and traditions of the nation. We have a large pool of journalists who promote the tradition of revolutionary journalism, reaffirming the irreplaceable role of the press in social life.

What do reporters need to keep in mind to build more humanistic journalism?

For journalists, there are three important factors: political stance, professionalism, and good ethics. All three are equally important and complementary.

A good journalist is an ethical journalist. There may be journalists who are well-versed in professional tricks but lack ethics. If a journalist does not have morality and integrity, his work will have a negative influence on the public.

The press must also build trust and inspire people to development. What does the media need to do to achieve this?

Building a powerful country has been the goal from the beginning. All strategies by the Party and state are people-centred, with people’s happiness as the goal. However, these strategies require trust and support from society.

The press is the channel where consensus is created and trust is built for this. Over the years, the press has timely reported the strategic decisions of the Party and state, as well as struggled with evil, eliminating malicious news.

Facing the rapid flow of time, journalists with a pure heart and sharp pen have become the chroniclers recording human values for the sustainable development of the country and the people.

Newspapers are in fierce competition with digital media, with many foreign and local newspapers establishing subscription models. What do you think about this trend?

While it carries grave political responsibilities, the press must also generate revenue. We need a national programme with mechanisms and policies fitting the development needs of the digital media.

Of course, press agencies themselves must be more proactive and creative in making revenue. In addition to publishing, advertising, and organising events, they need to focus on improving the quality of content, especially on digital platforms.

I highly appreciate those that have boldly established subscription models such as VietnamPlus, Ngay Nay, and VietNamNet, which showed their determination to improve the quality of information. Because after all, content is still the heart of journalism.

I hope that more press agencies will respond to this trend, forming a habit among readers of enjoying high-quality, unique, and in-depth information – even at a price.

By Thuy Lien

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