Social responsibility and ethical journalism in the digital era

Tuesday - 16/06/2015 03:38
The seminar “Social responsibility and ethical journalism in the digital era” addressed the basic, frequent and dominant issues concerning Vietnamese journalism, attracting the interest of journalists, media managers, researchers, media educators and media students.
Social responsibility and ethical journalism in the digital era
Social responsibility and ethical journalism in the digital era

17 received papers analyzed and evaluated the current situation of journalism and the violation of professional ethics in Vietnam, identified the social responsibility of journalists and proposed many solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of Vietnamese journalism and communication.

Dr. Bui Chi Trung (left) and Assoc.Prof.Dr Dang thi Thu Huong as chairmen of the seminar

Learn how to coexist with information in the digital era

That was the opinion of journalist Huu Tho in light of the current state of information. The public in this era has to cope with both false and true pieces of information. He said that falsity and authenticity always blend with each other in the reception of daily information. According to him, purely false or true information fails to attract the audience.

This leads to the issue of ethical journalism that is becoming more and more notable. The amount of information transmitted via internet makes it impossible for humans to maintain control over it.

According to him, falsity even eclipses authenticity in the current flows of information. Yet the public has to coexist with the internet. He said that it is impossible to prevent or eliminate this kind of information in the World Wide Web. The public has to learn how to cope with these flows of information and the journalists that provided information has to be respectful of professional ethics.

Sharing this viewpoint, Le Duy Truyen (Vice Director of the Vietnam News Agency) also said the digital era also leads to the explosion of social media. In some respect social media are as competitive as official media in the diversification and multiplication of contents. Also, the range of information in social networks seems limitless due to the introduction of many utilities allowing people to become “information-providers”, unbounded by financial or individual barriers. But this kind of information is not always accurate and objective. This is what challenges the official media.

Personal responsibility of each journalist

The conference also discussed many solutions to improve professional ethics and social responsibility of media practitioners in this era. One of the most recognized elements is the personal responsibility of each journalist.

Journalists have to respect their social responsibility and civil responsibilities because they are crucial for them in their profession.

Luong Bich Ngoc (Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Kham Pha) said that in journalism, no one can avoid errors. But there are small errors and ones that cost the journalists quite a lot. The important thing is that journalists have to commit to an ethical profession.

Emphasizing personal responsibility, Dang Dung (Deputy Vice Director of Tuoi Tre) said: “I am usually proud of my writing, but that is what I also fear of. Whatever article I make will have much influence on society. Every error, due to my misinformed perspective, will make me deeply regret. Having entered journalism, I am proud of my personal style as I write about the humanistic aspects of life”.

Media are said to be powerful and influential in every aspect of society. Thus, in the digital era, professional journalism need to be respected and followed more than ever.

Author: Hoai An

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