Friday, July 17, 2015

Online Exclusive: Media in the Transition to Democracy and Digital Journalism

By Huyen Nguyen

Trung Bui, a lecturer and TV producer from Vietnam, and Unurjargal Lkhanaa, a senior lecturer from Mongolia, joined each other to present about media in transition Thursday afternoon.
"I first planned to present about the role of journalism in modern societies, including Vietnam and the United States. But at a second thought, I switched to a more general view of Vietnam and current media issues," said Bui in an interview following his heavily visual presentation.
He went on emphasizing the positive side of media policies in Vietnam: encouraging the transition to digital media and the practice of citizen journalism, and the deregulation of media ownership.
"Five years ago, only the government owned the media. Right now, if you have money, you can invest into technology and labors and start producing media contents," Bui said. "Next year, we will have the new journalism law, replacing the one established in 1989 and amended in 1999. I look forward to new things that would further improve media situations in Vietnam."
Bui refused to give his opinion on the other side of the transition to democracy in Vietnam. He diverted the very specific question about the Vietnamese context to a more global context. (Click to hear his general statement.)

In contrast, professor Lkhanaa, who taught Mass Communication Theories at the Press Institute of Mongolia, freely discussed both sides of the transition to democracy in Mongolia after 1990.
Among positive changes, she gave the increased accessibility to information the thumb ups. But she despised the political influences on media independence and media business. (Click to hear her full statement.)

"I am very proud of Mongolian readers, though. Long time ago, sensational magazines were sold everywhere on the street. But right now, you no longer see them," said Lkhanaa a night before her presentation. "I guess our readers with the increased perception of media quality refused to read junk news."
During her presentation, she retold the story and was cheered by other SUSI fellows.

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