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Promoting the role of military press in the Homeland construction and defence

As part of Vietnam’s revolutionary press, the military press plays a role of utmost importance to the Party’s revolutionary cause. To meet the requirements for the Homeland construction and defence in the new situation, the military press should be consolidated and made capable of successfully fulfilling the assigned task, contributing to orientating public opinion, achieving a consensus within the society, building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds”, deserving to the core force in the field of ideology and culture and the important bridge between the Party, State, and Military and the people.

Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich congratulating the military press agencies on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of the Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day

When he was alive, President Ho Chi Minh always paid due regard to the revolutionary press and journalists. According to him, “every article is a revolutionary proclamation”; “every journalist is a revolutionary soldier. Pens and papers are their sharp weapons”. Following his teachings, over the past years, under the leadership and direction of the Party, State, Central Military Commission (CMC), and Ministry of National Defence (MND), with the support from Central and local committees, sectors, and ministries as well as military units, the military press has always been a companion to the national renewal, construction and defence, strived to overcome hardships, successfully fulfilled the assigned task, achieved comprehensive developments, and asserted its status and prestige in Vietnam’s revolutionary press. Notably, the military press has been consolidated and modernized under the MND’s project. Military press agencies have always observed the leadership and direction of the CMC, MND, and particularly the General Political Department (GPD), adhered to the direction by the Central Commission for Propaganda and Education (CCPE), the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA), operated under the political guidelines and goals, kept raising the quality of propagation, thereby meeting the demand of readers both inside and outside the Military. The military press has serves as the voice of the CMC, MND, and the entire Military as well as the official channel of information and the reliable forum of military staff and all people. Amidst the development of multi-dimensional information and the intense competition, the military press has well performed the work of educating military journalists’ political will and professional morality and competence, while actively renewing itself and proactively integrating into the world. It has stayed close to reality, stepped up propagation of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the Party’s guidelines, and the State’s law and policy, correctly, comprehensively, vividly reflected all social aspects both at home and abroad, with a focus on military-defence issues, opportunely identified, encouraged, and multiplied new elements and typical examples in the Patriotic Emulation Movement and the Determination to Win Emulation Movement, thereby bringing about the positive influence across the Military and society. In addition, the military press has effectively taken part in reviewing reality and developing theories about consolidating the all-people national defence, building the people’s armed forces, and defending the Homeland in the new situation. Most notably, the military press has always taken the initiative in fighting against evil information, wrong viewpoints, the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy, and their plots to enhance “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within as well as to “civilize” our Military, opportunely providing the people with the information, especially on complex, sensitive issues, contributing to defending the Party’s guidelines and its ideological ground within the Military, orientating public opinion, and achieving a sense of consensus within the society.

However, there have been weaknesses in developing, managing, and organizing the military press. The system of military press agencies has yet to be synchronous or uniformed. Several newspapers and magazines have not kept pace with the development of daily life while the quality of some publications has yet to meet the requirements. Meanwhile, journalists’ professional competence and equipment in some press agencies have yet to meet the demands of development of modern press.

In the foreseeable future, the situation around the world and in the region will be complex and unpredictable. We will have to face great threats and challenges. The tasks of consolidating national defence, building the Military, and defending the Homeland are imposing the new high and comprehensive requirements. The hostile forces continue to step up their sabotage plan in the field of ideology and culture. Notably, on the threshold of all-level party congresses and the 13th National Party Congress, they will step up their acts of sabotage more intensely, particularly against the Party’s political platform, guidelines, and personnel work, while using mass media and social networks to defame the Party, remove its leadership over the Military and society, and undermine the Military’s prestige. Against that backdrop, the country’ press in general, the military press in particular must closely manage the press work, make themselves capable of the mission, and promote their role as the sharp tool of propagation and the Party’s vanguard force in the field of ideology and culture, with a focus on the following.

First, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of leadership, direction and management towards military press.

The press work within the Military is part of the Party’s ideological work and an important component of the party and political work within the Vietnam People’s Army. Thus, all activities of the military press must be placed under the comprehensive leadership of the CMC, the management of the MND, particularly the GPD, the professional direction of the CCPE, and the state management of the MIC. Party committees, commands, and political offices of units and agencies are responsible for directly directing and managing the operation of their affiliated press agencies. To meet the requirements for propagation in the new situation, the offices in charge of press at all levels should adhere to the Party’s resolutions and directive as well as the CMC and MND’s regulations on the work of ideology, theory, press, information, and propagation, well perform their work of directing and managing the press agencies and operations, the regulations on speech, and the provision of information for the press, particular at the complex, sensitive events. Besides, they should focus their leadership and direction on building strong press agencies politically, ideologically, organizationally, professionally as well as raising their quality and effectiveness of propagation. They need to cooperate with relevant offices in advising the CMC, MND, and GPD on supplementing and completing the mechanisms and regulations for directing and managing the military press in both long and short terms. Military press agencies should promote the role and responsibility of party committees and commands, particularly the editors in chief in directing, managing, inspecting, and supervising all operations of their offices and journalists, particularly those who work independently and the representative offices in localities. Party committees and commands of the offices in charge of press and the press agencies must take responsibility for the press work before the CMC and MND, ensuring that the press work is under the Press Law and MND’s regulations and guidelines in order to maintain and raise the quality and prestige of military press.

Second, consolidating and making the military press compact, revolutionary, professional, modern, qualitative, and effective.

Under the CMC and MND’s direction, over the past years, the system of military press agencies has been rearranged; military press agencies have actively implemented the MND’s Project on “modernizing military press agencies in the period of 2014-2018”, thereby streamlining their structure, improving their facilities and equipment, achieving a breakthrough in the work of propagation. However, military press agencies should continue to be streamlined and renewed to meet the rapid development of science and technology of communications, particularly the requirements set by the 4th industrial revolution, the development trend of modern press, the Military’s task requirements in the new situation, and the Party and State’s guidelines on streamlining the press. To do so, the MND and GPD’s competent offices should quickly give advice to the MND on the measures to execute the Prime Minister’s Decision 362/QĐ-TTg, dated April 3rd 2019, on “the plan for developing and managing Vietnam’s press towards 2025” within the Military. To that end, importance should be attached to aligning the restructuring of military press with the reforms in raising the effectiveness of leadership and management of press in line with the force adjustment within the Vietnam People’s Army towards 2021, the Military’s task, and its particularities. In the process, the MND should focus on building and making a number of its main press agencies capable of playing the core role in propagating the military and defence mission, providing the official information, and orientating the ideology of the military staff and the people. Sectors, military regions, services, corps, academies, and schools should adhere to their demand, function, and task to restructure their affiliated press agencies properly and make them compact and effective. In addition to the restructuring, military press agencies should promote the effectiveness of the Project on press modernization and actively mobilize resources in upgrading and modernizing their facilities and equipment to meet the demand for multi-media press and the development and convergent trend of modern press.

Third, building and making a contingent of journalists capable of the task requirements.

First of all, military press agencies should review their contingent of cadres, journalists, and technical employees as the basis for making plans on recruiting, training, and using staff members, while formulating the strategy for developing the press manpower with the sufficient quantity, proper structure, and high quality to meet the task requirements in both long and medium terms. Grounded on the recorded results and experiences, it is important to diversify forms of training and developing the press personnel within the Military in a comprehensive, professional, focalized manner in accordance with each type of press; to closely combine education and refresher courses at schools with self-training, self-improvement, and training among the staff within each press agency. Significance should be attached to improving military journalists’ political zeal, professional ethics and skills, comprehensive knowledge, professionalism, and sense of discipline as well as preserving the virtues and qualities of revolutionary journalists. Besides, it is essential to actively fight against negative phenomena and violations of journalistic ethics, and resolutely dismiss those who have low prestige and lack enthusiasm for their work. To meet the task requirements, military journalists should be active in self-study and self-improvement, strictly observe the Military discipline, the Regulations on Vietnamese journalists’ professional ethics, and step up the studying and following of Ho Chi Minh’s ethics and journalistic style. Every military journalist must be imbued with Ho Chi Minh’s teachings: “the task of a journalist is important and glorious. To fulfil the task, they must put efforts into political study, stay firm in the proletariat’s ideology, and improve intellectual level and especially professional competence”. Besides, military journalists should continue promoting the nature and fine tradition of “journalists - soldiers” to successfully the task in the new situation.

Fourth, continuing to renew the contents and forms of information and propagation, maintaining the political orientation in journalism.

To meet the new requirements for the Homeland construction and defence and fulfil its function and task, the military press should renew itself more strongly and comprehensively, provide correct, timely, honest, verified information by means of diverse forms and approaches, proactively access and control the battlefield of information to orientate public opinion within the entire Military and society. Military press agencies should effectively exploit and further apply the achievements in science and information technology, particularly modern equipment and means to modernizing the procedure and technology of journalism; renew the method of providing the information for readers; enhance the quality of press publications, with a focus on developing online press. Due to the trend of international integration and the boom in multi-dimensional hard-to-control information, the military press must maintain political orientation in propagation and remain alert in processing and publishing the information, particularly about the new, complex, sensitive issues. Offices in charge of the press and press agencies should supplement and complete the regulations and the procedures for journalism, enhance the work of inspection and supervision, and resolutely avoid derailing the guidelines and objectives. It should closely cooperate with Central and local press agencies in opportunely providing and exchanging the information and experiences to create the synergy in the work of propagation; in better performing the role as the bridge between the Party and State and the people; in taking part in social supervision and criticism; in further indentifying and praising new elements and typical examples in the tasks of military build-up, national defence consolidation, and Homeland defence.

Fifth, promoting the vanguard role in the field of ideology and culture, actively fighting negative, hostile practices, contributing to defending the Party’s ideological ground.

According to their function and task, military press agencies should continue grasping the Party’s guidelines, the CCPE’s orientation, and the direction of the CMC, MND, and particularly GPD and their regulatory agencies, proactively developing the programs and plans for propagation in each period in line with the guidelines and objectives, and well fulfilling the role as the voice of the CMC, MND and entire Military. They should closely follow practice and significant events of the country and the Military, while further propagating the military-defence guidelines and mission, the building of a “revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modern” People’s Army, the results and experiences in performing the function as “an army ready for combat, work, and production”, and particularly the operation of the units stationed in the isolated, remote, border, sea and island areas. Also, they should focus on propagating the implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 4th Plenum on the Party building and rectification, the Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW, dated May 15th 2016, the CMC Standing Board’s Directive 87-CT/QUTW, dated July 8th 2016, the Determination to Win Emulation Movement, and the Campaign entitled “promoting tradition, devoting talent, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers” to encourage the Military and the people and spread the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the Homeland construction and defence. More importantly, military press agencies should proactively open the column to propagate the party congresses at all levels in the run-up to the 11th Military Party Congress and the 13th National Party Congress. Besides, they should be active in the fight against corruption, wastefulness, and degradation in political ideology, morality and lifestyle as well as negative practices within the society and the Military. It is essential to continue taking the lead in fighting against wrong viewpoints and distortions and defending the Party’s ideological ground and political Platform and guidelines via highly combative articles in order to prevent and repel the degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle, “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within, foil the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy, and safeguard the Party’s ideological ground within the Military.

Fully aware of their function and task as well as their great responsibility and honour, military press agencies should continue to promote the fine tradition of Vietnamese revolutionary press and heroic Vietnam People’s Army and keep renewing and developing themselves to deserve to be the vanguard force in the Party’s ideological and cultural field and make contributions to the entire Military and people’s fulfillment of all missions in the construction and defence of the Homeland of Socialist Vietnam.

Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich, Member of the Politburo

Deputy Secretary of the CMC, Minister of National Defence

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