Digital transformation of journalism the pathway for future development

June 21, 2024 | 02:22 pm GMT+7

Journalism was the leading and primary disseminating force of the Party, he said, and investment in the press should be prioritised.

Digital transformation of journalism the pathway for future development- Ảnh 1.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung

The Ministry of Information and Communications has recommended that the Government and the Prime Minister prioritise directing press agencies to invest in the digital transformation of journalism to modernise their operations.

To celebrate the 99th anniversary of Việt Nam Revolutionary Press Day (June 21, 1925-2024), Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, member of the Party Central Committee, Minister of Information and Communications, shared some insights on the future direction of journalism on Friday.

Journalism was the leading and primary disseminating force of the Party, he said, and investment in the press should be prioritised.

In the past, the tools of journalists were paper and pen, but now they have expanded to include technology, particularly digital technology.

“The press now must have technological instruments to assess information trends and public sentiment in cyberspace to write relevant articles. This too, is technology,” he said.

A press agency was considered digitally transformed when 30 per cent of its expenses, including both investment and operational costs, were allocated to technology.

Press agencies needed investment to implement digital transformation, he added.

Investment in digital technology does not require significant costs, but it yields substantial and rapid benefits.

According to Hùng, recently, the State budget allocated for press investment had been modest (only 0.22 per cent of total State investment expenditure), and even after the Digital Transformation Strategy for Journalism was established, it has not increased.

A significant advantage in digitally transformation and modernisation of journalism technology was that we had many strong digital technology companies that could be tasked to carry out these efforts if allowed.

The ministry had also advised the Prime Minister to issue the Digital Transformation Strategy for Journalism and established the Digital Transformation Support Centre for Journalism, which also serves as the focal point for State management of digital technology.

“The Ministry is committed to accompanying and supporting press agencies in their digital transformation,” he said.

Also at the event, Hùng noted that the founder of Việt Nam Revolutionary Press was President Hồ Chí Minh.

Since establishment, revolutionary journalism reflected the 'mainstream' of Vietnamese society, creating consensus and social trust, spreading positive energy, and fostering the aspiration for a strong and prosperous nation, generating the spiritual strength to realise the goal of Việt Nam becoming a high-income developed country by 2045.

“We have performed the tasks well in the past,” he said.

Surveys on occupational prestige in society ranked journalism ninth in 2018, rising to third in 2022, just behind teaching and medicine.

The workforce in journalism in our country comprises 41,000 people, with 23,000 holding press cards.

There are currently 797 press agencies, including 127 newspapers, a 40 per cent reduction compared to before the issuance of the National Press Development and Management Plan by 2025.

Annually, press agencies produce approximately 40 million articles, 20,000 hours of radio and 50,000 hours of television, with policy communication accounting for 20 per cent.

Supporting mechanism needed

Regarding the "dual mechanism" of journalism, he said press agencies are both public service units and businesses.

They are public service units because they perform the disseminating duties for the Party and State.

However, press agencies now must compete with digital platforms and go along with market mechanisms.

“A breakthrough reform for journalism is allowing press agencies to have dual operating mechanisms. However, journalism businesses exist to conduct journalism, not for profit,” he said.

Hùng, on behalf of the ministry, wished the press agencies, journalists and reporters good health and encouraged them to work with a spirit of service to the nation and people.

He wished the revolutionary press to always be pioneering, leading and continuously innovating.

“Vietnamese journalism has been, is, and will always be loyal to the Party's cause for a wealthy, strong, democratic, civilised and happy Việt Nam,” he said./.