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Sunday, December 30, 2018, 13:23 (GMT+7)
Measures to improve quality of military press personnel training

Inheriting and promoting the glorious tradition of Vietnam's revolutionary press, over the past 70 years, the military press has made significant contributions to the political, ideological and cultural front, encouraging the entire Party, people and Military to successfully carry out the struggle for national liberation and unification and today’s Fatherland construction and protection. Therefore, adequate attention should be paid to improving the quality of military press personnel training.

Thanks to the leadership of the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defence and the General Department of Politics, up to now, the Army has had a large contingent of journalists with strong political will and professional competence. They are ready to be in difficult and remote places in order to opportunely reflect the life and operations of both the people and the Military vividly and authentically. However, given the mission requirements, there remain weaknesses in the work of providing information and conducting propaganda by the military press; the content and forms of information dissemination and propaganda have yet to be diverse and attractive.

The Military Culture and Arts College cooperates with the National Defence Journal in holding the conference on developing the military press personnel

One of the reasons for those weaknesses is the limited quality of military press personnel training; the training programs and content have yet to be renewed and proper; and facilities and equipment for the training work have been limited.

In order to overcome these shortcomings, and improve the quality of military press personnel training to meet new requirements, it is necessary to implement the following basic solutions.

Firstly, to strengthen the education of political will, professional ethics, sense of responsibility for this staff. It is a solution of importance deciding the quality and effectiveness of press personnel training in general and the military press personnel training in particular. Political quality and ethics are the foundation and the "root" of all work, and the decisive factor to the formation of professional competence, acting as the “lodestar” for journalists.

Moreover, the press is closely connected with politics. Therefore, journalists are required to have a firm political will to properly shape their position and viewpoints so that they are able to identify the correct or distorted information, to fight against hostile rhetoric, and to orient public opinion.

In the time of international integration and the vigorous development of communications, in order to avoid adverse impacts of market economy, attention should be paid to raising journalists’ political will, scientific methodology, and professional ethics, and building up their independent and creative thinking. They should clearly understand and adhere to the teachings of President Ho Chi Minh: "...  press personnel (writers, printers, editors, publishers, etc.) should have a firm political will. Politics must be the key. The correct political orientation lead to good work."

The content of education and training should be comprehensive but focus on: revolutionary ethics, ideology, professional competence, related guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the State, such as: Press Law, the Resolution of 10th Party Central Committee’s 5th Plenum on "Ideological, theoretical and press work in response to new requirements"; Regulations of the Vietnam Journalists' Association, and regulations on professional ethics of Vietnamese journalists,... especially the studying and following of Ho Chi Minh's ideology, morality and journalistic style. To fulfill their glorious task, journalists should cultivate and train themselves to become the ones that are not seduced by wealth, or transformed by poverty, or subdued by power.

Secondly, to actively renew  education and training content and programs to make them appropriate to the task of building the Army and the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So far, the military press agencies have been striving to build themselves into multimedia agencies. In order to achieve that goal, emphasis should be placed on training and nurturing a contingent of military journalists; on building a multi-sectoral system that is integrated with a wide range of press forms and closely follows the development trend of the digital era. Attention should also be paid to improving their knowledge and professional competence, and experience in the military environment, and mastering new media techniques, such as writing articles for printed and electronic newspapers, radio, and television, so that they are able to independently work in harsh and difficult conditions.

Accordingly, for general press, while developing the training program, importance should be attached to training basic skills, combining the theory with the practice related to convergent media, new media, the publishing process. Regarding the press and media for international integration, the content should include: listening to and reading foreign newspapers on the international economic, cultural and social situation. For the specialized press on defense and security tasks, the content should focus on: knowledge of military work and national defense and security tasks; principles of party work and political work; building the all people's national defence, "the people's hearts and minds posture"; the tasks of training and combat readiness, etc.

Thirdly, to innovate the education-training methodology and combine the traditional methodology with the "simulation" technology in which digital technology is the foundation. In digital era, journalists are required not only to write articles and access, analyze, and evaluate information, but also to associate different information sources and arrange the news and articles to meet the increasing demands of the public and handle the media incidents in a crisis.

Therefore, it is necessary to actively innovate the methodology of training towards creating an army of journalists that are also the communicators as well as the super-connectors who can mobilize and connect all available resources in the process of briefing the news and orienting public opinion. Besides, it is essential for the instructors to adjust and update teaching methodologies, enrich knowledge and information so as to both "encourage" and guide the learning method and stimulate creativity for students.

In teaching, importance should be attached to the application of "simulation technology" in order to help learners to better combine logical thinking with vivid intuition. Along with that, it is vital to promote "team” work to exploit the activeness and creativity of each student, help them master journalistic skills; create a strong link within the "teams". Meanwhile, the functions and work of each team and its member should also be changed routinely in order to ensure each team’s comprehensive and intensive knowledge, thereby creating interactive strengths, meeting the demand of "multifunctional" media in the new era.

Fourthly, to improve knowledge and teaching methodology of military press instructors. The teaching staff plays the key role in the process of personnel training. In order to improve the quality of personnel training, it is necessary to focus first and foremost on comprehensively raising instructors’ knowledge, ensuring that they are truly scientists, researchers and instructors in the field of press and media.

In order to improve knowledge for this staff in the military, attention should be paid to promoting cooperation in training and conducting scientific research related to press and media among military, civil, and foreign colleges. Accordingly, on the one hand, it is necessary to select and send instructors and journalists to attend training courses abroad to improve their teaching capacity; on the other hand, it is important to promote self-learning to improve instructors and journalists knowledge and teaching methodology, and proficiency for.

At the same time, emphasis should be placed on improving instructors’ foreign language and informatics skills so that they can use foreign languages and apply information technology in their daily work.

Fifthly, to increase investment in training facilities and equipment, create a favorable environment for raising the quality of education and training. The quality of education and training depends on many factors with teaching and learning facilities playing an important role. With the vigorous development of the technical means for receiving and broadcasting information on the background of 3G, 4G, 5G technologies, information and knowledge are transmitted fast on the Internet. This requires more investment in the improvement of facilities and equipment for both press work and press personnel training.

Therefore, colleges and academies should proactively exploit different resources for upgrading facilities and equipment for press personnel training, providing students with hi-tech equipment for practice.

In the time of the digital revolution, the "convergence of the media" and "versatile journalists", the application of the above-mentioned solutions will contribute to improving the quality of military press personnel training, creating a contingent of “both red and expert military journalists”.

Sr. Col. Nguyen Xuan Thuy, Rector of the Military Culture and Arts College

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