Press agency representatives: Take advantage of opportunities in digital era

Participants at a national press forum said that press agencies should take advantage of opportunities in the digital era.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang at the conference

In the framework of the 2024 National Press Festival, a national press forum was chaired by the Vietnam Journalists Association with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang.

Speaking at the closing session, Editor-in-Chief of Nhan Dan Newspaper cum Chairman of the Vietnam Journalists Association Le Quoc Minh commented that the forum held in Ho Chi Minh City for the first time was successful.

Accordingly, the forum has many discussion sessions, discussing many important issues, and keeping pace with the organizational methods of international conferences and seminars.

These sessions include enhancing Party spirit and orientation in journalistic activities, building a press culture environment, data journalism and superior content strategy, investing and applying technology effectively in newsrooms, and diversifying revenue sources of press agencies.

Along with that are the sessions namely reportage, investigation, journey to do useful things, television's competitiveness in the AI world, dynamic broadcasting in a digital environment, effective cooperation model between press, businesses and advertising agencies and protecting press copyright in the digital era.

According to journalist Le Quoc Minh, the presentations, opinions of speakers, guests and interactions at discussion sessions have suggested to journalists and press managers how to apply technological and innovative solutions, raising the level of strategy and practicality for press agencies. Moreover, the event also shows that press agencies should take advantage of opportunities to overcome present difficulties and challenges and gradually improve the quality and competitiveness of press agencies in the current digital era.

Previously, at the discussion session ‘Diversifying revenue sources for press agencies’, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam said that currently the revenue sources of press agencies have been badly affected by new market mechanisms as businesses are shifting putting ads on the digital space rather than printed newspapers, so press agencies need to find ways to earn revenue sources.

Director Nguyen Quang Dong of the Institute for Policy Studies and Media Development (IPS) said that the explosion of digital technology has fundamentally changed the market and the press needs to focus on finding revenue sources. Director Nguyen Quang Dong suggested diversifying the way to reach readers as currently, many press agencies have succeeded in developing on social networking platforms.

At the discussion session, delegates analyzed the causes and proposed solutions to improve the decline in revenue of press agencies, of which the most serious is printed newspapers.

For instance, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Tuoi Tre Newspaper Tran Xuan Toan informed that, in the past, newspaper advertising of Tuoi Tre Newspaper accounted for 75 percent of revenue, but now it sharply declined. The above reversal forced Tuoi Tre Newspaper to invest heavily in technology.

Chairman of the Vietnam Journalists Association Le Quoc Minh

Content of the news is significant to earn revenue, said Director Le Thanh Tuan of Vinh Long Radio and Television Station which is quite successful in developing social networking platforms and generating good revenue. Director Le Thanh Tuan believes that if the content is bad, no matter how many tricks a newspaper does, there will be no viewers, and thus, there will be no viewers leading to no revenue because no one will put ads on bad newspapers.

Delegates recommended that relevant ministries and agencies need to have mechanisms to support press agencies, such as reducing taxes on press products so that press agencies have more resources to invest in technology and content.

Deputy Editor-in-Chief of VietnamPlus Electronic Newspaper Nguyen Hoang Nhat affirmed that in the digital era, journalism cannot be separated from technology as many press agencies were wondering whether investing in technology infrastructure will bring adequate revenue and whether investing in digital platforms can compensate for the decline in revenue of traditional press agencies.

Students scan QR to read Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper

Representatives from press agencies also discussed copyright protection on the afternoon of March 16.

According to Standing Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper Nguyen Duc Hien, digital transformation has been and is an inevitable trend taking place strongly in most fields. In the strategy ‘Digital transformation of newspapers to 2025 with an orientation to 2030’, all press agencies will post content on digital platforms by 2030.

To implement this strategy well, the big challenge is the problem of digital content copyright infringement. If press copyright cannot be protected, journalists and press agencies will be discouraged from investing in content development.

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