New Press Law to improve citizens’ rights of speech and press

03/07/2015
defined citizens’ rights of speech and press. The Press Law even clearly states: “Press agencies and press workers operate in the legal framework and are protected by the State; no individual or organization controls and prevents press operations… Press and media are not censored before publications and broadcasts.”
(Photo for illustration: VNA)
It can be said that the Constitution and Press Law cover the comprehensive concept of citizens’ rights of speech and press.
The amendments to the Press Law, which, indeed, absorbs the new contents of the 2013 Constitution, more clearly defines citizens’ rights of the press and speech by reserving one chapter on the issue. Term 12 is about the rights of the press while Term 13 states citizens’ rights of speech in the press. The Terms of the Chapter clarify that there is no limit to legal press operations; no individuals and organizations control or/and prevent legal press operations; all legal press operations are protected by the State; and the State does not censor the press and media. On the other hand, they act as regulators to ensure that no-one abuses the rights of speech and press to violate national interests, legal interests of organizations and individuals.
Regarding the freedom of speech in the press, the law stipulates that citizens are fully informed about all aspects of life and situations of the country and the world via the press; citizens have the rights to provide information to press agencies and press workers, send photos, articles and other press pieces to the press without any censorship but they have a responsibility to the law for the contents of their provided information or/and their speech (including written forms) in the press. Citizens can also have their say on draft laws, draft policies, and have the right to give proposals, petitions and denouncements to competent agencies in line with the current laws and regulations.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Draft Law of the Press has 35 new points. According to experts, these new points reflect the legal advancement, and legalize citizens’ rights of speech and press regulated in the Constitution.
Private press running against the Constitution
The Draft of the Press Law and the plan to reorganize the press pursues the constant viewpoint, confirming that there is no private press in Vietnam. However, there is a new content in the Draft, stating that press agencies are permitted to associate with other press agencies and other legal entities. This new content shows that the Draft honors the common rights of the press in the world.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Truong Minh Tuan, British philosopher John Stuart Mill, one of the first researchers on the rights of press, shares the idea to some extent. Meanwhile, K. Marx and F. Engels also state that the freedom of the press and citizens’ rights of speech and press are necessary in modern society but they must be regulated by laws.
Term 5 of the Draft stipulates: “The press of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an essential mass means of communication within society, and a forum of the entire population.” Meanwhile, Term 16 clearly defines the political, social and professional organizations that are permitted to found press agencies. The regulation is clear and transparent, and does not permit individuals or private entities to set up press agencies.
At the 10th Meeting of the Party Central Committee of the 11th Party Congress much time was spent on the Master Plan to reorganizing the nationwide press agencies. The Meeting reconfirmed that Party and State agencies should actively provide information to press agencies, and that individuals and private entities must not be allowed to found or/and possess press agencies in order to avoid interest groups controlling the press. Meanwhile, press and media agencies should actively provide sufficient information for people while communications companies should promote the quality and security of internet services to ensure orthodox information for people and filter poisonous information in the internet.
Senior journalist Huu Tho, former Head of the Central Commission for Thought and Culture explicitly applauded the policy, saying that the plan for further development and better management of the press at this time is very important, which could serve as a firm basis for the press to develop in a healthy manner in the time to come.
All the above facts and arguments show that the revision of the Press Law and Plan to reorganize the press system aim to improve the efficiency of press operations and the quality of information for people in the future, which exactly follows the 2013 Constitution. From the positive changes, the Vietnamese press will surely serve as a means of providing information en masse and a forum for all people to practice their rights of speech and press as well as to promote democracy.
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All comments [ 13 ]


John Smith 3/7/15 15:45

Freedom of speech is the liberty to speak openly without fear of government restraint. It is closely linked to freedom of the press because this freedom includes both the right to speak and the right to be heard.

LawrenceSamuels 3/7/15 15:46

In recent time, hostile forces and political opportunists have pushed up their taking advantage of the issue of “freedom of press, freedom of speech, democracy, and human rights” to propagate, agitate, distort and counter the Vietnamese revolution and deteriorate people’s belief in the Party, the State and the regime. It is important for us to stay vigilant and lay bare their schemes.

yobro yobro 3/7/15 15:48

the Freedom House published its “Freedom in the world 2015” report which ranked Vietnam among countries with no “freedom”. Earlier, some other organizations, namely “Committee to protect journalists” (CPJ) and “Reporters Sans Frontieres” (RSF) released their “reports” and “communique”, with distorted arguments, biased assessments and wrongful reflection on the freedom of press, freedom of speech, democracy, and human rights situation in Vietnam. They even blatantly calumniated Vietnam of the sentence of journalists, oppression and arbitrary arrest of bloggers.

MaskOf Zero 3/7/15 15:49

right after someones, who violated the law, were arrested and brought to trial for conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the FH, CPJ, RSF called them “democrats”, “independent writers” and gave out their distorted “annoucement” asking for the unconditional release of those people.

Only Solidar 3/7/15 15:50

there have been several figures, including some journalists making use of the freedom of press, freedom of speech to spread their vilification against the State and the Communist Party of Vietnam as well as its top leaders and authorities on social networks.

Deck Hero14 3/7/15 15:51

Vietnam is building a rule-of-law state. Accordingly, all social activities are governed by and adjusted in accordance with the law.

Pack Cassiopian 3/7/15 15:53

The Communist Party and the State of Vietnam always repect and ensure human rights, including the freedom of press, and the freedom of speech.

Love Peace 3/7/15 15:54

Vietnam does not allow anyone to abuse these rights to propagandize, incite a coup and harm the national solidarity. In reality, the State and the Communist Party of Vietnam have always paid attention to and respected people’s ideas in the process of making and implementing law and policies through social criticism and press system.

Jane smartnic 3/7/15 15:55

In reality, the State and the Communist Party of Vietnam have always paid attention to and respected people’s ideas in the process of making and implementing law and policies through social criticism and press system.

Gentle Moon 3/7/15 15:56

People are free to express their criticism through the Vietnam Fatherland Front and a number of social associations such as the Farmer Association, Women Association, Youth Union, etc which serve as a brigde between people and the party committees and authorities at all levels.

erica black 4/7/15 16:29

Press Law demonstrates the State and Party of Vietnam 's efforts in safeguarding citizen's basic rights in general and rights of press and speech in private.

Dennis White 4/7/15 16:40

some people take advantage of rights of speech and press to act against Vietnam Goverment

those must be dealt. like any country over the world every citizens enjoy their rights in in the legal framework, no unlimited freedom.

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