Press should be voice of the people: Prime Minister

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The media should relay popular opinion to the nation’s leaders while also steering the public in the right direction on important issues of national sovereignty, the Prime Minister said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the cooperation between the government and the public had led to many social and economic accomplishments recently.

Press agencies are the voice of that cooperation, he told the agencies during a meeting with media outlets during the Lunar New Year holiday in Hanoi.

Despite the economic crisis, the number of poor Vietnamese households had dropped in both 2008 and 2009, he said.

“Even the most remote islands are already equipped with water and electricity. Television programs can be watched all day. Telephones can be called anytime during the day and radio stations can be listened to anytime. Transport between islands and mainland has become easier.”

Vietnam’s friendly foreign policy had paid dividends over the past year by creating a prosperous environment for foreign investment and raising Vietnam’s position on the world market.

 â€œThe press is the forum of the people. My hope is that press agencies will listen to, filter and reflect people’s intelligent views to the Communist Party exactly. Don’t leave out any good or constructive idea of the residents,” Dung was quoted by newswire Vnexpress as saying.

He also said the press should keep people up to date with the party’s foreign policies, its administrative reforms measures and its fight against corruption.

Each newspaper and each reporter should be aware of their mission to the country and people, he said.

He asked press agencies to raise people’s awareness of security, territorial, national defense and sovereignty issues.

“We have made careful steps to reveal the exact proofs of our territory’s sovereignty. But we need to do more in the coming time.”

Mr. Dung said the press can provide information from different sides but that it should drive the public in the right direction to create a consensus throughout the society.

“I really hope the press will effectively dismiss the arguments of forces opposed to the country, the party or false information about our territory’s sovereignty.”

“The press should report the fight against corrupt officials and social evils so that the government machine will be better, closer to the residents and more reliable to them.”

He asked the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Association of Reporters to better facilitate the development of a legal framework for press development.

Source: VNA

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