Vietnam parliament to be aired on TV for increased transparency

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The Vietnam National Assembly will have a television channel that "truthfully" broadcasts activities of the country's top legislative unit, an official said at a Hanoi conference Wednesday.

Nguyen Si Dung, vice director of the parliament's office, said the channel is among the parliament's efforts to be more open with the media in order to make the national agenda transparent.

News website VnExpress cited Dung as saying that the channel will start airing next year per the wishes of assembly chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.

"The channel will broadcast exactly what is going on at the National Assembly," he said.

In another effort to provide more transparency, the assembly also plans to grant increased access to reporters. Dung said the assembly's new building, currently under construction, will provide a better venue for the press to observe.

"We are suggesting allowing reporters to join hearings at the assembly's committees," he said.

Dung said the efforts have been inspired by Danish counterparts, who attended the conference Wednesday.

Mette Hansen, a committee secretary from the Danish Parliament, said their television channel which broadcasts parliament has been on the air since 2009.

It costs Denmark US$2.5 million per year, among the cheapest in Europe, to make the country's legislative unit clear and accessible to every person, Hansen said.

Interested citizens in Denmark can register on the parliament's website if they want to audit a parliamentary session, she said at the conference.

There's also a corps of around 200 reporters in Denmark charged with covering parliament, and 95 of more than 450 members of the parliament working directly with the media, the Danish secretary said.

Dung also said "the time is right to have a corps of parliamentary reporters in Vietnam."

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