The 2016 Press Law is not written for journalists only


Vietnam's amended Law on Press has been adopted by National Assembly (NA) deputies at the 11th session with approximately 89.5 per cent of votes in favour. The revised 6-chapter, 61-article law is designed to replace the 1989 Press Law and its 1999 amendments. It will take effect on January 1, 2017.
It stipulates the right to freedom of the press; citizens’ right to freedom of speech in the press; press organizations and activities; rights and duties of agencies, organizations and individuals involving press activities; and State management of the press. Before passing the draft law, the NA heard a report on opinions about the bill.
The new amended press law specifies that print, transmissions and broadcasts will not be subjected to censorship before publishing.
Citizens now have the right to make suggestions and proposals or criticize the Party, state agencies and political-social organizations through the press, according to the newly passed law.
Leaders of all related state agencies will have to inform the press of their response to the opinions, reports, recommendations, criticisms or complaints made by citizens within 30 days.
The law specifies that the press agencies and journalists need to reveal their informants if formally requested by high-leveled judicial authorities, such as the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam or a Chief Justice of a Provincial Court or higher, for investigation of serious crimes.
Accordingly, the NA Standing Committee agreed on proposed amendments to Article 27 of the bill, which stipulates that eligible press card holders who work for a religious organisation’s press agency will not be required to have a three-year college diploma or higher degree. People with two years of experience working in a press agency will be qualified to apply for the first granting of press cards, instead of three years as stipulated by the current law.
However, the committee rejected the proposals on revised Article 28, which suggested eliminating the process requiring press card holders to re-apply for a new card every five years. It suggested keeping the regulation unchanged in order to prevent the cards being misused by those who have left press agencies. The proposed prohibition of journalists and correspondents from using social media was also rejected to ensure citizens’ right to freedom of speech as stipulated in the Constitution.
In occasion of this event, let review the Vietnam News to Mr. Hồ Quang Lợi, Permanent Vice Chairman of the Việt Nam Journalists’ Association, speaks to the media on the occasion of Việt Nam Journalist’s Day (June 21)
In your opinion, how will the changes in the 2016 Press Law affect Việt Nam’s press?
Việt Nam is one of a few countries to have adopted a press law, indicating the special attention of the Party and State to the national press. The law will provide a legal basis for a healthy, active and effective press to help the nation respond to the demands of the country’s renewal and international integration.
The 2016 Press Law, with its six chapters and 61 articles – 25 more than the old law - goes into effect on January 1, 2017.
An important change in the revised law is that it states clearly the right to press freedom and citizens’ rights to express their ideas in the media. The law also stipulates what the press can’t do.
The 2016 Press Law also covers the responsibility of organizations and officials to provide information to the media, with special rules for journalists about information confidentiality, particularly information relating to national security.
In other words, the 2016 Press Law will provide favorablee conditions and tools for the media to do its jobs.
However, the law is also an effective legal framework guiding the journalists how to perform their duties. In other words, the Press Law is not only for journalists but for the whole society.
Do you think the law responds to changes in the modern press and technology?
As I have mentioned above, the 2016 Press Law ensures the right to freedom, including press freedom for all citizens and their rights to access information.
No law is perfect, but the 2016 Press Law ensures the basic conditions to make Vietnamese society more civilized and democratic.
However, the booming social media poses acute challenges for the national press. This has become a global issue, not only in Việt Nam. We can’t say that the 2016 Press Law will be the only good and effective tool in the management of the press and communication in Việt Nam. That’s why we call upon all Vietnamese media to act with integrity and professionalism.
In your opinion, what challenges face traditional media in light of the rapid development of social media?
We’re living in an era of fast development of digital technology and social media. We should look at it objectively and comprehensively and acknowledge its positives while criticizing its negatives.
All these require good professional skills. What’s more important, all journalists must be honest in writing their stories. This is vital.
To that end, journalists should have deep knowledge of the country’s Constitution, particularly the Chapter on Human Rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of press.
In addition, all journalists must thoroughly understand the 2016 Press Law and adhere to its do’s and don’ts.
Would you elaborate on the required professional ethics for Vietnamese journalists?
A book on professional ethics for Vietnamese press workers is in the process of revision to make it conform with the 2013 National Constitution and the 2016 Press Law and to adapt it to the fast changing life in our country.
I just want to emphasize again that “journalistic ethics are the core – a matter vital to his/her career”.
We’re in the course of building a press for the homeland and the people and for the general public.
What do you think about the impact of the new Press Law on the development of the Vietnamese media?
I’m confident it will serve as a firm foundation for the Vietnamese press to develop along the path charted out by the Party and Government. The Vietnamese press will carry out its role of providing timely and reliable information to the readers.

Living in an era of fast changing social media, the Vietnamese press is facing both opportunities and challenges. Journalists must therefore exert further efforts to keep up to date with the fast changing world – yet conform to our unique Vietnamese conditions.­/.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 4 ]

Jane smartnic 13/11/16 11:27

According to the 2016 Press Law, the media is protected by the law for their professional activities and eligible to visit agencies and organizations to practice journalism.

Only Solidar 13/11/16 11:28

Agencies and organizations are responsible for providing journalists documents which are not classified as state or personal secrets or otherwise secrets under the law.

LawrenceSamuels 13/11/16 11:29

The new law also highlights the roles and responsibilities of journalists, and regulates their work ethics and prohibited behaviors in line with the 2015 Criminal Code, the Civil Code, and other laws.

MaskOf Zero 13/11/16 11:30

A majority of countries in the world, which follow progressive trends, share a common perception: The execution of freedom of the press must serve the building of a stable, healthy, humane and developed society.

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