PRESS AND COMMUNICATION
The first Vietnamese-language newspaper, Gia Dinh Newspaper, was introduced in 1865, marking the beginning of Viet Nam’s press history. On June 21 1925, Thanh Nien Newspaper (Youth) which was established by Nguyen Ai Quoc published the first edition. That day is now recognized as Viet Nam Press Day. Over the two national resistance wars, Vietnamese press advocated patriotism and national determination for independence. Over the years, Vietnamese press has grown and recorded significant progress. Today almost all aspects in social life have been covered by the press. More than ever, Vietnamese press has been developing and contributing to the nation’s political, economic and social life. The press has been given most favourable conditions to fulfil their role as a forum for social organizations and people, an important instrument in protecting social interests and freedom rights of the people as well as in monitoring and supervising the implementation of state laws and policies. Freedom of press and freedom of speech is inscribed in the Constitution, Press Law and other laws of Viet Nam. There are 16.000 accredited journalists and thousands of non-accredited ones. Viet Nam Journalists’ Association is a member of Organization of International Journalists and Confederation of ASEAN Journalists.
There are 687 media institutions and 896 publications in Viet Nam (as of May 2009). Viet Nam News Agency (or VNA) is the national newswire which produces daily news reports in Vietnamese, English, French and Spanish. VNA is also the publisher of English-language Viet Nam News, French-language Le Courier du Viet Nam and “Outlook” magazine. VNA broadcasts about 100 daily news reports on Internet in Vietnamese, English, French, Spanish, etc. Viet Nam has 67 broadcasting institutions, including 3 national broadcasters of Viet Nam Television, VTC Digital Television and Radio Voice of Viet Nam and 63 local radio and television stations. There are 21 online newspapers and 160 webpages of print newspapers; and thousands of information-intensive webpages of the party, state, government, association, and enterprise entities. Annually, 600 million newspaper copies are published or 7.5 copies per capita per year. Over 80% of population has access to Radio Voice of Viet Nam and over 70% for Viet Nam Television. Since establishment, Radio Voice of Viet Nam (1945) and Viet Nam Television (1970) have increased capacity and expanded coverage nationwide and abroad; VOV and VTV also broadcast on Internet.
Vietnamese media apply scientific and technological progress in modernizing media technology toward digitalization and multi-media. Viet Nam launched the first commercial satellite in April 2008 – VINASAT which significantly enhanced information infrastructure to meet domestic and international information need, improve and diversify communication types and services.
Though Internet was introduced as late as November 1997, Internet infrastructure and Internet subscribers have rapidly increased, similar to other regional countries. Viet Nam, according to ITU, is among those that have the fastest Internet growth rate. Internet is now available in all 63 provinces and cities. In 2008, internet subscribers have reached 6.4 million, or 7.4 subscribers per 100 people. As of April 2009, there are 21.17 million Internet users or 24.79% of the population. Broadband subscribers stand at 2 million. Internet is also available in schools, 94% of schools and 100% of colleges and universities have Internet access. Viet Nam is also establishing internet access points in rural and remote areas.
In addition to Vietnamese media, the Vietnamese also have access to information from international news agencies and television channels like CNN, BBC, AP, AFP, Reuters, etc. and other international newspapers and magazines.
Viet Nam’s young telecommunication sector has a high growth in recent years; telecommunication services have been expanding, contributing to socio-economic development and highly appreciated by international community. As of July 2009, telephone subscribers reached 107.8 million (or 123.9 subscribers/100 people); 86% of which are wireless phone subscribers.
Strong sportsmanship has been forged through 4,000 years of national defence and construction, which is reflected in community’s sports activities. In festivals, there are wrestling, swinging, and chess competitions. In areas along the coast or main rivers, boat racing, swimming and diving contests are annually held. In mountainous areas, traditional horse racing, elephant racing, and archery contests are popular.
During French colonial time and before 1975, though not on a regular basis, Viet Nam’s athletes have participated in international sports games in the region, and scored high ranking in sports like football (or soccer), boxing, cycling, tennis, etc.
Since reunification, given favourable policies and positive socio-economic conditions, sports and physical training have developed strongly and recorded encouraging results. Many Vietnamese athletes have won high rankings: Nguyen Thuy Hien – wushu gold medal in 1993 and 1997 Wushu World’s Championship; Tran Hieu Ngan- taekwondo silver medal in Olympic Sydney 2000; Hoang Anh Tuan – weight lifting silver medal in Olympic Beijing 2008. Viet Nam’s chess players have won high prizes and awarded Grandmasters and International Masters by World Chess Federation.
In regional games, Viet Nam has won significant achievements. Shooting, wrestling, martial arts, and table tennis are among Viet Nam’s strong sports. In South East Asia Games 22, Viet Nam ranked first in medal tally. The most popular sport in Viet Nam, football has gained positive outcome in recent years. The National Champion League is held annually and draws extensive public attention. Viet Nam won South East Asia Football Champion in 2008.
Almost all sports have their representative federations such as Football Federation, Chess Federation, Volleyball Federation, Traditional Martial Arts Federation, etc.
Viet Nam sports and physical training target at enhancing physical education in population; promoting sports talent training; recording high ranking in international contests like South East Asia Games, Asia Games and world competitions; improving sports and physical training infrastructure such as management and training system, legal framework, training and competition facilities, science and technological research and application institutions.