No plans for press privatisation

Wednesday, 2012-06-13 13:50:00
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Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son
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Vietnam had no plans to privatise the press in Vietnam, said Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son on June 12.

Minister Son said the press was the voice of the Government and the people’s forum according to the nation’s press law.

His statement was made in response to a question as to whether the ministry had any plans for press privatisation.

The online question-and-answer session between the minister, ministry officials and people was organised by the Government’s website.

He also said that so far the ministry had no plans or proposals to set up media groups.

Regarding a question on communications planning until 2020, Minister Son said the ministry is drafting a plan which includes the transformation from analog to digital television.

Digitisation will improve television quality, he said.

By 2020, a television transmission market will be formed with three broadcasting networks of national scope and five others of regional scope. The networks will be based on national infrastructure, which will help save costs and resources for television and broadcasting agencies.

The Government will encourage the manufacture of affordable, quality receivers so that everyone, including those in remote areas, will be able to access digital television.

There are currently 786 press organisations in Vietnam, with 194 print newspapers, over 590 magazines, 61 news websites and 67 television and broadcasting stations, plus 17,000 journalists granted press cards.

In response to questions about the development of the information technology (IT) in Vietnam, Nguyen Trong Duong, head of the ministry’s Information and Technology Department, said Vietnam will step up training and raise staff expertise with an aim to producing 1 million staff in the sector by 2020.

Duong said the application of the IT will be stepped up in State agencies and enterprises to develop an "electronic society".

Nguyen Thanh Phuc, head of the Information and Technology Application Department under the ministry, said by 2015 it is expected about 60 percent of State agency documents will be produced in electronic forms to save costs.

Phuc said it is expected by 2015 that the majority of State agencies, from district level to departmental level, will have websites to offer information and online public services.