Following the success of the first media course in Hanoi, the Vietnam Program for Internet & Society in collabration with the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (Ministry of Information and Communications), the Vietnam Journalists Training Center (Vietnam Journalists Association), Reuters, the British Embassy in Vietnam and Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Co.Ltd held a three-days training course on "News leadership in the digital age " in Ho Chi Minh City from 21st to 23rd November 2017. The course was organized for 37 newsroom managers in Vietnam.
The course "News leadership in the Digital Age" was designed to provide the experience of well-known international news agencies such as Reuters and the BBC on providing accurate and fact-based information under the pressure of the digital era and some recommendations for the media environment in Vietnam. The course’s content focused on equipping participants with the information collecting and verifying skill in the digital age and new media trends. The course emphasized the role and responsibility of leaders to develop reporting standards for journalists and newsroom management strategy in digital era.
Delegates attending the opening and closing ceremonies were Mr. Le Quang Tu Do, Deputy Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, Ministry of Information and Communications, Assoc. Dr. Tran Thi Minh Hoa, Vice-Rector of University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Mr. Le Quoc Trung, Representative of the Vietnam Journalists Training Center (Vietnam Journalists Association), Ms. Le Mai Anh, Reuters, Mr. Ian Robert Gibbons, Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Graham Night, Head of Internal Affairs, British Embassy in Vietnam and Mr. Uday Shankar Sinha, CEO of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverages Company.
The opening ceremonies of "News leaderships in a digital age" course
The course took place in three days by Ms. Anne Senior, lecturer and jounalist of Reuters, UK. Ms. Anne Senior was a veteran journalist and editor of Reuters with many years of experience in the European, American and Asian areas in the fields of print news, television and multimedia. She served as Global Director of Training in Reuter, in charge of media training projects on professional skills for more than 2,600 staff and reporters from 200 Reuters’s offices around the world (2013 - 2015). Prior to that, Ms. Anne Senior was the director of the EMEA and Asian Studies Program of Reuters in Singapore and London (June 2005 - 2/2013). She was the Reuters Asia Editor in Singapore (June 2000 - May 2005) and was responsible for editing and managing financial news for professional investors, making editorial plan for Asian region of Reuters. In addition, she was a senior editorial manager of the Reuters financial TV in Tokyo, Japan, news correspondent of Reuters in the United Kingdom & United States (New York, Washington, Chicago, London, Belfast 1987 - 2000).
At the opening of the course, Ms. Ann Senior asserted “the modern press is facing many opportunities as well as challenges in the digital era. Information searching and verifiying tools are becoming more diversified and acccessible, however balancing them is also a huge challenge”. According to her, reporters, albeit heavily supported with new tools to find information, ought to seek authentic sources and evidents. She also discussed the current opportunities and challenges via sharing latest trends in the information world according to the annual Reuters Digital News Report. In particular, visual storytelling and social media trends were highlighted, as well as potential risk of misinformation while relying on them.
Ms. Ann Senior, Reuters shared international casestudies
Based on new trends in the media world and experiences at Reuters, Ms. Anne introduced some realistic scenarios faced by international news agencies to facilitate discussion around the red lines and gray areas during the reporting process. These sum up to provide the most effective advices and solutions for digital reporting dilemmas while ensuring the accuracy and transparency of news. From there, she offered the Reuters' approach to extract social media content, validating ad filtering those information for coverage.
Exciting learning atmosphere with hypothetical situations and pratical exercises
Since the course participants were high-ranking leaders/ reporters, the lecturer also spent a lot of time on sharing and discussing roles and responsibilities of managers in building strategy and setting standards for staff in the newsroom before the rapid changes in the digital media environment. Based on some of the world's most successful news business models, Ann selected and suggested strategies that connect with the most relevant target audience in Vietnam. As the information world and consuming habit of these audience are constantly chaning, she insisted, "Changing is the only way in this digital age” and offered eight elements to build the strategy of sucessfully leading newsroom in the process of change and transformation in the future. From this point, the trainees had worked out their own plans suitable for each newsroom. In addition, the course focused on discussing management conducts from recruitment to training journalists to maximize their capacity.
In each lesson, the instructor always incorporate both games and hypothetical situations to encourage participants actively tackle problems using both personal experience and the course content. Team-work and individual exercises required the trainees to identify fast-paced, time-sensitive situations in order to work out appropriate strategies and tactics for timely resolution and accurate reporting. In particular, depending on the characteristics of each newspaper editor, the lecturer let the students themselves think and plan the development strategy in the current media environment of each newspaper and then gave appropriate advices.
At the end of the course, participants had the opportunity to discuss and comment on the content of the Handbook "Journalism Skills in Digital Media". This is one of the first handbooks on reporting skills for journalists in the digital era in Vietnam.
The course only lasted three days, but it offered a wide variety of lessons with interactive activities, casestudies and discussion among trainees and lecturer. All participants shared that this was an exciting experience with valuable lessons about newsroom management skills as well as editorial skills in the digital media environment. Mr. Pham Huu Chuong, Saigon Times, said that "The content of the course is very useful, focus on the main topic, not rampant or sporadic. Ms. Ann's innovative teaching methodology helps us actively participate in the course, the interaction among instructors and learners is maintained throughout the course, detailed exercises and practical application. After the course, I gained new experiences and strategic plans to change and manage newsroom before the ever-evolving transformation of the media
Mr. Pham Huu Chuong, Saigon Times, shared his feeling about the 3-day course.
Some moments in the media course:
Ms. Tran Thi Minh Hoa (middle), Vice-Rector of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, thanked the representatives of two main sponsors - Mr. Graham Night, Head of Internal Political Section, British Embassy in Hanoi (right) and Mr. Uday Shankar Sinha, General Director, Suntory PepsiCo (left)
Mr. Le Quang Tu Do, Deputy Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, Ministry of Information and Communication, said in the closing ceremony
Mr. Ian Robert Gibbons,British Consulate-General, Ho Chi Minh City