News article

The UK supports Vietnam’s efforts to improve media - government relations

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Less than 10% of the public complaints and opinions raised through the media receive due response from government agencies. That’s the key finding of the study on government response to media requests launched before the International Anti-coruption Day 9 December 2013.

The study is a part of a wider project implemented by the Center for Media in Educating Community (MEC) from August 2013 to March 2014 with the financial support from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. With a focus on improving the government’s response to the public’s complaints and opinions rasie by media, this project continues the UK’s support to NGO-led initiatives to create a safe and enabling environment for the media and enhance their role in fighting corruption. The media is an important strand of cooperation in the UK-Vietnam Strategic Partnership.

The study highlighted the gaps in the Vietnamese media legal framework, including the lack of sanction against government agencies for not observing media laws, and the overlap and contradiction of various laws and sub-laws to the Press Law. It also stressed the need to improve awareness and capacity of both journalists and government spokespersons in order to raise the quality of government’s response to media requests.

The study provided evidence for the MEC to produce a policy paper in October 2013 recommending administrative sanctions against government agencies/spokespersons who fail to respond timely to the media. The capacity issue will be dealt with through interactive training for government spokespersons and journalists under the project later this year and early next year.

The executive summary of the report is available here.