During a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the agency in Hanoi on September 13, PM Phuc lauded generations of the VNA’s leaders, reporters, technicians and staff for making great contributions to the cause of national construction and defence. He also expressed his gratitude for its nearly 260 journalist-martyrs, accounting for two-thirds of the country’s total, for laying down their lives on the mission.
He recalled that historical moments of the nation, covered by VNA’s journalist-soldiers, became known and supported by the world. Its reporters and staff were present on almost battlefields, overcame a raft of challenges to send news and photos about the brave struggle of the nation in a rapid and objective manner, thus inspiring a strong will to regain national independence and reunification and creating a motivation for emulation movements nationwide.
Building on achievements over the past 75 years, the VNA needs to take the vanguard in information and popularisation work, including disseminating the Party policies and guidelines, the State laws, contributing to bringing the Party and National Assembly’s resolutions, the Government’s programmes and action plans into life, he said.
He added that the VNA also needs to promptly reflect public aspirations, fight against negative behaviours, wrongful allegations by hostile forces, firmly safeguard the Party’s ideological foundation, protect the Party and State’s policies and guidelines as well as territorial sovereignty, maintain socio-political stability, contributing to orienting public opinions and strengthening public trust on the Party and State leadership.
He stressed the VNA’s immediate significant task of raising public awareness of the Party congresses at all levels, towards the 13th National Party Congress, covering opinions of people from walks of life on draft documents and reports which are to be submitted to the National Party Congress.
He suggested that the VNA should keep its own identity and core value as a “bank of mainstream information” for the domestic press system and the public at home and abroad, in service of the Party and State leaders and think-tanks.
The PM assigned each VNA journalist to keep improving political mettle, professional skills and knowledge to carry the sector forward, thus deserving dedication by the past generations for national revolutionary cause.
According to him, the VNA needs to continue adopting technological advances to develop itself into a modern multimedia agency using digital transformation and artificial intelligence.
On the occasion, PM Phuc, who is also Chairman of the Emulation – Commendation Council, presented the first-class Labour Order, to the VNA.
Addressing the ceremony, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi said on September 15, 1945, from the Bach Mai wireless transmission station in Hanoi, the full text of the Independence Declaration and the list of the members of provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam were aired in Vietnamese, English and French. The event marked the birth of a news agency of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. That was also the content of the first transmissions by the VNA, known as Vietnam Thong tan xa (VNTTX) at the time.
After national reunification, in May 1976, realising an instruction by the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, the VNTTX and the Liberation News Agency – the official news organisation run by the South Vietnam National Liberation Front, which was established on October 12, 1960, merged.
One year later, the National Assembly Standing Committee issued a resolution approving the change of the Vietnamese name of the agency from “Vietnam Thong tan xa” into “Thong tan xa Vietnam”.
He affirmed that in any circumstance, the VNA’s information always gear toward the goal of independence, freedom, peace, national development and people’s well-being.
During the 1980s and 1990s, a series of dailies and weeklies in Vietnamese and foreign languages debuted and were welcomed by the public such as Sports & Culture newspaper, Viet Nam News and Le Courrier du Vietnam.
In the 21st century, the VNA set the target of diversifying transmission channels and expanding international cooperation. With the birth of electronic newswire VietnamPlus, television channel VNews, infographic news, 12 bilingual news and photos for ethnic minorities, megastory published on VietnamPlus, its app and social media site, the agency’s news have been available to the public at home and abroad amid digital era.
The VNA’s news units for foreign services have also popularised the image of Vietnam as an active and responsible member of the international community, fulfilling mission of a key national press agency for external affairs, he said.
The General Director informed that the VNA produced a number of high-quality news products winning awards at home and abroad. This week, its “Say no to Fake News” project won the top prize in the category “Best Project for News Literacy” – one of ten categories within the framework of the Asian Digital Media 2020 Awards presented by WAN-IFRA, the World Association of News Publishers.
With such great contributions, the VNA was also awarded with a number of Party and State decorations such as Gold Star Order, Ho Chi Minh Order, Independence Order, the titles of labour hero in renovation period and hero of people’s armed forces.
With a contingent of about 2,300 officials, reporters, editors, technicians and staff in 63 cities and provinces nationwide and 30 key areas in five continents, the VNA currently provides thousands of news stories, articles and photos for domestic and foreign media outlets each day, serving the Party and State leaders and the public with nearly 70 news products in various forms. It also cooperates with more than 40 press agencies worldwide, making effective contributions to ties between Vietnam and countries worldwide during Vietnam’s integration process, he said.
On the occasion, Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong also sent a basket of flowers and letter of congratulations to the VNA.