Nguyen Van Phu: Vietnam’s Press Turns Partly Private

baochi_VietNam[ndlr] Evolution dans les pratiques de la presse éditée au Viêt-Nam. A lire sur Asia Sentinel, l’article de Nguyen Van Phu sur les débuts d’une privatisation partielle de la presse et de l’information en ligne. Focus également sur le phénomène des « bulletins électroniques » émanant de compagnies ou d’acteurs privés.

Stealth journalism takes over from the state-owned press

Travelling abroad as a journalist, I am frequently asked, “Does Vietnam have freedom of the press?” My beating-about-the-bush answer often starts with something like, “You have to understand that all press in Vietnam is owned by the government.”

Unfortunately, I can no longer get away with such an apologetic opening. Although nobody admits it, more and more Vietnamese newspapers and magazines, both printed and online, are owned by private companies. This encouraging trend may foster a free press as long as the government chooses to look the other way.

A quick visit to any sidewalk news stall in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City will confirm this trend. There one finds an array of familiar English-language mastheads such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Her World, Esquire or Women’s Health… on display with the content entirely in Vietnamese, partly localized and somewhat titillating. It is highly doubtful that Vietnam’s Politburo would care to educate its people on how to have the best date or why men cheat.

Read More : Asia Sentinel, 25/11/2013