Press Contributes to Successfully Accomplishing Foreign Missions of the Country

9:40:03 AM | 6/21/2021

In honor of the great contributions of Vietnam's revolutionary press, the Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang, Director of the Press Bureau under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam. Nguyen Mai reports.

Could you please briefly introduce the role of the press in building and enhancing Vietnam's image in the international arena, especially helping create the Vietnam phenomenon that is highly appreciated by the international community and has become a role model in the fight against COVID-19?

Just as affirmed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong “Our country has never had the potential, position and reputation in the international arena as it has today", our achievements in all aspects have enhanced the role and image of the country in the world. Vietnam today has established diplomatic relations with 189 countries, strategic partnerships and comprehensive partnerships with 30 countries, including all five members of the United Nations Security Council. Vietnam's voice in regional and international forums is heard and shared. Many of our proposals and initiatives are supported and approved. Vietnam has been twice elected non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the host of many important regional and international events such as the 2017 APEC Leaders Meeting in Da Nang City, the 2019 U.S.-North Korea Summit in Hanoi, and the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship. Vietnam is an attractive destination for many foreign partners, many of Vietnam's landmarks are the most popular in the region among international tourists. The country has become a bright spot in the international media.

Even in the context of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam has become the focus of global information flows thanks to its successful containment of the pandemic and economic recovery in a so-called “dual goal” strategy.

For Vietnam to be a bright star in the public opinion, the press greatly contributes to this effort. This is an important information bridge connecting Vietnam with the world, bringing our official voice, images, and messages to the international community, making the world understand our country and people; creating more opportunities for economic development, especially in trade and investment; consolidating and deepening Vietnam's relations with other countries and international organizations, elevating Vietnam's roles in international and regional forums; promptly and effectively fighting against malicious and distorting claims and information about Vietnam.

Given that the complicated development of COVID-19 caused lockdowns and isolations across the world and no foreign reporters were permitted to enter the country, the Vietnamese press has headlined Vietnam information to the world, helped create the "Vietnam phenomenon", a model of COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control. Foreign language channels of the Vietnamese press have accurately and timely reflected pandemic situations in Vietnam, resilient efforts of Vietnamese Party and Government and the consensus of the people across the country in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stories on drastic and effective pandemic prevention policies and measures, active and responsible health diplomacy and efforts to protect and bring overseas citizens back to Vietnam in an extremely difficult situation caused by the pandemic published by the foreign press are a reliable source of reference for the international public and our compatriots abroad. Vietnam’s economic recovery and development has received positive attention from international public opinion and strengthened confidence of foreign investors and partners. The impressive growth figures in the first five months of this year are a clear example.

Vietnam is staging digital transformation. What are advantages and disadvantages of the press on the digital platform?

This is an interesting, topical and urgent story today. As someone who has worked with journalism for many years, I see digital transformation as a challenge, a key and a tool for press agencies to rise up and adapt to international integration.

In 2020, the Government approved the "National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with a vision to 2030", aiming to make Vietnam a stable and prosperous digital country. This is a right and timely policy that will certainly facilitate news agencies to reform and apply new achievements of information technology and digital technology and upgrade technological facilities; and help journalists grasp all opportunities that the technological revolution offers, to make a breakthrough. On the other hand, the country’s renovation achievements in the past 35 years have lifted Vietnam to new highs in all aspects and our country's position and prestige in the international arena has been increasingly raised. Deepening international integration is an important premise for news agencies to expand exchanges and join major regional and global technology playgrounds.

In addition, in the booming era of digital technology, information technology and social media, journalists are facing numerous challenges, for example changes in reading, watching and listening habits of readers; the weakening appeal of traditional journalism methods, the rise of social media ad pressures from content and advertisement distribution infrastructure and solutions on global cross-border platforms.

However, I believe that journalists will overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities to successfully achieve digital transformation. I also hope that news agencies will be supported and facilitated, and apply appropriate investment and personnel policies to reach out to the region and the world.

How well has the press performed foreign affairs set out at the 13th Congress for a peaceful, independent, cooperative and developed Vietnam?

The political report of the 13th Party Congress emphasized that our country's foreign affairs in the coming time are “further promoting the leading role of foreign affairs in creating and maintaining a peaceful, stable environment, mobilizing external resources to develop the country and improve its position and prestige". With an indispensable role in implementing foreign affairs, news agencies will join efforts with the diplomatic sector to successfully realize the Party's Resolution on foreign affairs.

In the current changing world, in my opinion, news agencies also need to adapt accordingly.

First of all, it is necessary to harmonize external and internal goals so that general guidelines as well as specific foreign activities are communicated to the world in a timely and accurate manner.

Regarding contents, the press follows the country's foreign policy and guidelines specified in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, with priorities and focus in each specific period and matches the country’s interests. The foreign policy of independence and self-reliance is the guideline for all external activities and creates and maintains a peaceful and stable environment, mobilizes external resources for development, and improves the position and prestige of the country.

Regarding the form and method of information and communication, it is necessary to foster strengths and effectively apply achievements of information technology, digital technology, and modern means of communication, especially multimedia communication, internet and social networks, to raise the quality of external communications. Expression also needs to be popular and interesting to the public, especially young people. We need more media products like Ghen Covid songs or Pulitzer-like pictures.

On the occasion of the 96th anniversary of the Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day (June 21, 1925 – June 21, 2021), I would like to express my sincere thanks to news agencies in general and the Vietnam Business Forum in particular for being always supporting and standing side by side with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in foreign information. Wishing the Magazine and all its staff good health, happiness and new achievements on the front of external propaganda!

By Nguyen Mai, Vietnam Business Forum