On the afternoon of March 28th, 2018, Vietnam Program for Internet and Society (VPIS), in collaboration with Reuters News Agency and the Vietnam Journalists Association - Center For Media Training organized an Announcement Ceremony of the handbook "Reporting in the Digital Age" (for Vietnamese journalists). This is the first handbook in Vietnam to provide the important operating principles for journalists in the digital media environment, as well as updating new and relevant policies and legislation in Vietnam and the world's journalism trends.
The boom in the popularity of the Internet and social network has made a lot of changes in the field of journalism and communications with many opportunities and challenges for publishers and journalists. According to Reuters 2018's Digital News Report, the biggest challenge of the press agencies is not only the pressure to race in the digital age, but also the loss of trust of readers for publishers (only 43% of the surveyed population in 36 countries still believe in news agencies). The public is changing the habit of accessing information from traditional media to digital media, including social network. The hectic pace of life of the public demands a clearer and more concise format in digital media.
Analyzing the context of the current media environment, Prof.Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Chairman of Academic Board for Scientific Research, Vietnam Program for Internet and Society (VPIS), Rector of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said, "With over 4 billion users at the moment, according to We Are Social, the Internet and the development of digital media have rapidly changed the Vietnamese and international press. Thanks to the new technology platforms, journalists do not only follow and extract information more easily, but also reach closer to the readers through the vivid means of disseminating information in a quicker and more direct manner. However, the digital media environment also exerts great pressure on balancing the speed and accuracy of information, among requirements related to the commercial aspect and the integrity of the journalists. Especially, between the diversity of information sources and the pitfalls of fake news, journalists' roles are highlighted in verifying and filtering the most meaningful information with the mission of helping readers reach the most genuine and crucial dimensions of life ".
Prof.Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Chairman of Academic Board for Scientific Research, Vietnam Program for Internet and Society (VPIS), Rector of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities
In that spirit, together with the goal of helping journalists keep pace with the rapid changes of communications in this day and age, Vietnam Program for Internet and Society (VPIS), in collaboration with Reuters News Agency and the Vietnam Journalists Association - Center For Media Training published the handbook "Reporting in the Digital Age" (for Vietnamese journalists) to provide important and practical principles for journalists working in the digital environment and social network. The handbook analyzes the data journalism, a prominent trend in today's communications, enabling journalists to leverage digital technology to collect data and convert them into valuable, objective and attractive news. Moreover, the handbook mentions the basic principles of the Law on information access, approved by the National Assembly of Vietnam on April 6th 2016 and become effective as of July 1st 2018 that are necessary for journalists to acknowledge in order to work on a more effective and legitimate basis.
Considering the meaning of this handbook, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dinh Thi Thuy Hang, Director of the Center For Media Training shared, "The handbook ‘Reporting in the Digital Age’ is a useful document for journalists and media people featuring very specific and practical content, presented in a readily understandable and easy-to-remember layout. I hope that the handbook would help communicators easily find and apply those skills in their daily work to improve the quality of information for the public. "
The Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Giles Lever affirmed that the UK always believes that a free and enthusiastic press environment with fiery and responsible journalists plays a key role in the development of the society, promoting transparency and accountability of the state. "I am delighted that we have supported VPIS to compile and publish the handbook "Reporting in the Digital Age", said Giles Lever. "I am very impressed with the contents of the handbook and hope it could reach more journalists. I hope that the journalists could use the handbook as a useful reference for working in order to take advantage of the upsides of digital age. ", he added.
Mr. Giles Lever, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom
Mr. Cao Hoang Nam, Chief coordinator of Vietnam Program for Internet and Society, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University-Hanoi said that, "The handbook will be one of the useful tools for reporters to increase the credibility of their articles in the context of the rise in fake news through the application of transparent and highly critical processes of converting data into information of Data Journalism. I think that the genre of Data Journalism will be a new trend in the work of reporters in the digital news era.”
Mr. Cao Hoang Nam, Chief coordinator of Vietnam Program for Internet and Society, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University-Hanoi
At the book launching ceremony, experts and journalists also discussed how to apply the handbook in training and at work in reality in the most effective way. In addition, with the desire to pass on the initial values of this handbook, attendees suggested approaches to improve upon the content of the next handbooks with in-depth updates and guidelines on how to apply the latest trends in journalism in the world based on the context of Vietnam’s media.
Dr. Pham Hai Chung, Lecturer of the Academy of Journalism and Communication shared the later development pathways of the handbook, "The handbook addresses fundamental values in the digital journalism age and the principles of applying these values in the context of the Vietnam’s press. This is the first edition and the efforts of experts, journalists in and outside of Vietnam. However, (on the basis of ever-increasing technology development, this handbook cannot cover all the diverse work situations of journalists. Hence, I hope, based on the systematic principles in this first version, the handbook will continue to be updated regularly by journalists in Vietnam and develop into a series of specialized handbooks, for example the updates on new journalism trends, the methods to apply Artificial Intelligence at work, or the factors that increase interaction between the public and the editorial board. It is expected that this handbook will contribute to the promotion of a transparent and sustainable media environment in the digital age. "
Dr. Pham Hai Chung, Lecturer of the Academy of Journalism and Communication
In order to share and disseminate the content of the handbook to more journalists, educators and students in Journalism, interested parties, institutions and organizations can download the handbook here: https://goo.gl/oTfJZQ
Some images of the discussion: