The Importance of Economic Policy Communication in Vietnam Press Nowadays
Policy communication is an important task and function of the government at all levels. This has been emphasized in the recent Prime Minister's Directive on strengthening policy communication. In this directive, the press and other forms of communication are emphasized as an information channel, through which the government can communicate important policy to the people.
Policy is the core of the socio-economic development in every country. When policies are approved and promulgated by the national assembly of Vietnam, mass communication channels are tools to communicate policy information to people in society, especially those affected by these policies. Through mass communication channels with different characteristics and functions, the Government's policies will be widely spread to everyone in the society. Thereby, people understand and receive information about the policy for effective policy implementation.
Economic policies of the Party and Government are communicated to the people through mass media channels, so communicating policies to the public is the essential task of press agencies in Vietnam. Economic policies play an extremely important role in the development and prosperity of the country.
For the public, policy communication plays an important role in all aspects of people' lives. People need information about policies for the jobs and fields in which they participate. At the same time, people need to be provided with information and knowledge about the domestic and international economic and social situation. Good policy communication will make a strong impact on the awareness, change attitudes and actions of people in society. Accordingly, policy communication makes an important contribution to the development of society, forming social values, orienting public opinion and establishing behavior norms of each person in society.
The basic of economic policy communication
Economic policy communication in Vietnam covers all stages of the public policy cycle. Economic policy communication is not simply the process of disseminating policies to the public, but includes the stages of a public policy cycle: from policy making, to policy formulation, monitoring policy implementation, and policy evaluation.
For effective economic policy communication, it is necessary to understand some of the basic characteristics of a policy: a policy is a collection of decisions made over a long period of time and extends to the main implementation stage. Policy is not expressed in a single decision but tends to be defined by a series of interconnected decisions; A policy that aims to solve a country's problems and affects one or more groups in a country's society; The policy consists of two main components, which are goals and policy solutions, aimed at creating changes to achieve national development goals.
Policy is developed, implemented, and evaluated by an authority that is a member of the legislative, executive or judicial branch. Policies are given in the form of written information such as: decrees. , resolutions, decisions, circulars, directives, laws... For the people, the public, this information is considered dry, difficult to understand and difficult to absorb information, using complex vocabulary. Therefore, in order to write news article about policies, journalists must first understand the policy, explain it back to the people in the most understandable way, and use an attractive presentation format.
Factors affecting economic policy communication:
Coordination between policy makers and press agencies in policy communication
In recent years, policy makers and press agencies have cooperated in policy communication process, however, in some government ministries, policy communication activities have been neglected. Directive 07/CT-TTg of the Prime Minister clearly shows that many ministries and organizations have not yet realized the importance of allocating appropriate resources in terms of human resources, working conditions and funding for policy communications. It is the lack of planning, lack of professionalism in providing information that has led to some unnecessary communication crises in the past time, and this affects the implementation of policies, laws of the Government.
The organization of policy communication task in press agencies
The press agencies have different principles and purposes, but the common task is to propagate the Party's guidelines, the State's policies and laws. Newspapers, radio, television, and electronic newspapers all have sections and topics on economic policy. However, the media agencies are still inactive in policy communication, many press agencies do not have a strategy or plan to propagate specific economic policies. Policy communication news articles should not only retrieve press releases from ministries and organizations but must also have a communication plan aimed at different groups of the public, with different goals.
Qualifications and skills of journalists when writing about economic policy communication.
Economic policy is a complex field that requires journalists who write about economic policy to have certain knowledge. In addition, journalists must understand more than anyone else about economic policies in order to easily explain these policies to the public. Based on a firm grasp of what the policy is, journalists must then develop content and use appropriate platforms to effectively communicate economic policy to the public.
In addition, articles on economic policy communication require a higher content of scientific information than other topics, requiring sufficient analytical content data. In fact, there are "lazy" journalists who depend only on the press releases sent by the authorities. Spending time to research and develop good policy topic does not happen often.
This requires press agencies to focus on training journalists in the field of policy communication. Journalists must improve their professionalism, research skills, political sensitivity, and policy analysis capabilities. If policy articles are made in a creative and engaging way, this will increase public interest in economic policy
The capacity of the public to receive information.
One of the factors contributing to the success of policy communication lies in the people, the public, the audience of policy communication. According to Dr. Vu Thanh Van, no matter how good the news articles about economic policy is, but if the public is not able or has no need to receive it, communication efforts will not achieve the goal. In which the efficiency and effectiveness of policy communication is the optimal goal, communication effectiveness is determined by the degree to which the goal of changing the public’s attitudes is achieved. Media effectiveness is determined by the level of public acceptance and compliance with media content, here is whether people enforce policies or not. Thus, the capacity of the public to receive policies is enhanced when the policy communication capacity of the press agencies is improved. As the public's capacity to receive policy is improved, the effectiveness and efficiency of policy communication will be ensured.
In addition, the capacity of the public to receive information is also reflected in the level of information needs, the ability to identify needs and orient the scope and communication channels to meet that need.
The development of information technology
In recent years, breakthroughs in new technologies have had a profound impact on the economy, society, and especially the media. According to the latest data in March 2023, the number of Vietnamese people using the Internet is 77.93 million people, accounted for nearly 80% of the population. The development of technology affects policy communication in many aspects: the mass media channels used by the public, the content of policy communication, the production process of policy communication products.
In fact, the number of people using new media channels such as online newspapers, social networks, etc. to read news is increasing, while the number of people using traditional media channels such as print newspapers and television. decreasing day by day. That is why the Prime Minister's Directive recently also stated that, in the context of the current development of technology, it is necessary to promote policy communication on digital platforms.
The reality of economic policy communication in the press today
Policy communication activities in Vietnam in recent years have had many positive changes. Through the mass media, the content of policies has been spread, creating public confidence in the government. The public over time have gradually participated in the process of formulating and implementing policies and helping the Government to adjust and amend policies to suit practical needs. The policy information sphere is more open, diverse, rich and modern. Notably, the level and capacity of the public to receive information in Vietnam is increasing. The demand for policy information has increased in recent years. The public is no longer passive in receiving policy information, but actively seeks information through many different sources and channels.
Regarding economic policy communication, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, electronic newspapers... all have separate sections, columns, and topics for communicating policy. In the categories are articles announcing policies, opinions of people and businesses on the impact of the policy on production, business, and social life. Besides, there are articles that reflect policy implementation experiences, problems and inadequacies of policies... Economic policies are often dry and difficult to understand, so the diversification of communication channels, interpreting policies through specific stories and details will be easier to attract the public.
An example of an economic policy that has been successfully propagated is the campaign “Vietnamese people use Vietnamese goods”. Information about this policy is included in many news reports of Vietnam Television. In addition, there are other programs on this topic and policy such as "Proud of Vietnamese goods", a talk show on VOV and news articles on electronic newspapers...
This policy is made in the context of the country's deeper integration into the international economy, the impact of the world economy on Vietnam’s economy is getting stronger; Competition in the international as well as domestic market for Vietnamese products is becoming more and more fierce. In response to the request to help the country's economy overcome difficulties and challenges, sustainably, and solve social security, the Politburo agreed on this policy "Vietnamese people prioritize using Vietnamese goods”. This is an extremely meaningful policy of the Vietnamese Government to encourage Vietnamese people to use Vietnamese goods, contributing to promote the sustainable development of the domestic market.
The campaign for Vietnamese people to use Vietnamese goods has achieved many achievements, people have actively chosen Vietnamese goods. The survey shows that nearly 90% of the respondents are very interested and interested in the campaign Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods. The Central Steering Committee for the Campaign said that information and policy communication have contributed greatly to the policy’s success. With diverse communication programs and innovative content, creative ways of communicating, such as a program to help the public identify "real goods, fake goods"; "Proud of Vietnamese goods", issued a Q-A document on the Campaign... all together raise consumers' awareness of Vietnamese goods.
But besides that, some policies have not been well propagated. For example, the CPTPP is a comprehensive, high-standard trade agreement in all areas, not only on trade but also on investment, intellectual property and many other issues and principles. In essence, the agreement is a more advanced than other free trade agreements that have been signed before. This agreement is forecasted to bring many opportunities and development potential for Vietnamese businesses, with the reduction of taxes and exporting goods, businesses will have more new opportunities to expand their products to other market in member countries.
However, a survey by the Vietnam Confederation of Trade and Industry (VCCI) on the interest of businesses in the CPTPP. The survey was conducted with 8600 enterprises shows a surprising fact that although the CPTPP promises to bring many benefits for Vietnamese businesses, but more than 70% of businesses still unclear about the CPTPP. Similarly, in 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Trade conducted a survey of 1,650 private enterprises on their awareness of free trade agreements (FTAs). The results show that the business community's awareness of FTAs is very modest. These are examples of ineffective communication of economic policies.
The above examples show that, although the press agencies have made certain contributions in the task of policy communication in general and the economy in particular, they have contributed to the construction and development of the country. But policy communication in the press still has some limitations, in many cases, policy communication is still one-way. Studies on how policies are presented in the mass media as well as the development of methods for monitoring and communicating policies in the mass media have not received much attention. There hasn’t been much study done of the public, understanding of their culture, qualifications and economic characteristics so the effectiveness of policy communication can not be successful. The press agencies and authorities have not paid much attention to assessing the impact of policy communication on the public. Some mass media have not paid much attention to the importance of policy communication in their strategy, the way it is done is not methodical, and the form of information presentation is still poor. Therefore, in the current process of integration and development, the role of press agencies in policy communication becomes more important than ever. Especially in the current context with the development of the Internet, along with the strong impacts of new technologies. It is important for press agencies to change their approach to communicating policy to the public, in order to create social consensus on solving important issues of the country as well as bringing guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the Government to the people./.
-Báo Đầu tư, 31/8/2019, “Hơn 70% doanh nghiệp được khảo sát chưa hiểu rõ về CPTPP”, https://baodautu.vn/hon-70-doanh-nghiep-duoc-khao-sat-chua-hieu-ro-ve-cptpp-d106451.html
-Báo Đồng Nai, 31/1/2023, “Gần 90% ý kiến quan tâm đến cuộc vận động Người Việt Nam ưu tiên dùng hàng Việt Nam”, http://baodongnai.com.vn/kinhte/202301/gan-90-y-kien-quan-tam-den-cuoc-van-dong-nguoi-viet-nam-uu-tien-dung-hang-viet-nam-3155266/index.htm
-Báo Pháp luật, 30/6/2022, “Bất ngờ hiểu biết của doanh nghiệp về FTA”, https://baophapluat.vn/bat-ngo-hieu-biet-cua-doanh-nghiep-ve-fta-post453040.html
- Cổng thông tin điện tử Chính phủ, “Chỉ thị số 7/CT-TTg ngày 21/3/2023 về việc tăng cường công tác truyền thông chính sách”
-TS. Phan Thị Thanh Hải, Truyền thông chính sách ở Việt Nam – Đặc điểm, nhân tố tác động và giải pháp nâng cao hiệu quả, Truyền thông chính sách và năng lực tiếp nhận của công chúng, 2019, NXB Chính trị Quốc gia Sự thật
-TS. Vũ Thanh Vân, Nghiên cứu khảo sát năng lực truyền thông chính sách: từ năng lực truyền thông của nhà báo đến năng lực tiếp nhận của công chúng, Truyền thông chính sách: Năng lực tiếp nhận của công chúng, NXB Chính trị Quốc gia Sự thật..
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