Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has advised the domestic media to pursue continuous development and meet the new requirements of society amid the popularity of social media.
Mr Thongloun gave the advice in his address at a grand meeting held on August 14 at the National Culture Hall in Vientiane to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lao Mass Media and Publishing Day.
“Our media has to build a new standard for itself continuously,” he told more than four hundred media and print officials at the meeting.
The PM offered the advice after Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune delivered his opening remarks for the grand meeting. Senior officials and media representatives attended the event.
PM Thongloun reminded those present at the meeting about the outstanding achievements made by members of the media and publications through their patriotism, cleverness, courage, and devotion to accompany the fight for national liberation.
August 13, 1950, on which the first congress of Lao Issara Front announced the establishment of its first newspaper Lao Issara – (Lao Freedom Newspaper), was approved as Lao Media and Publication Day.
Mr Thongloun praised the media and publications for their growth, and contribution to the mission of national liberation, defence, and development, noting the activities of mainstream media outlets in defeating the fake, deceptive, and harmful news concerning the collapse of an auxiliary dam in Attapeu province’s Sanamxay district in 2018.
Meanwhile, he pointed to the era of information and communication technology (ICT). He said official or mainstream media outlets have to make a greater effort in competing with other unofficial media, which were growing and becoming an alternative for members of the public for consuming information.
He stressed for the media to work ethically while being reliable and offering the truth, useful knowledge and experience to their audience and readers.
Prime Minister Thongloun spoke about some current challenges such as social elements which have been broadened, more freedom of expression, and attempts to disunite the nation by peaceful means.
He recognised the media coverage of past and current events but said the mass media should also anticipate future trends, including undesirable events in a changing world to prevent or mitigate the damage and loss.
He suggested that members of the media, publishers, researchers, and scientists to meet for exchanging opinions on the global situation, international politics, and economic and cultural vulnerabilities.
Mr Thongloun stressed on the importance of devotion to self-development for becoming professional news reporters and journalists, noting they had to sharpen their skills frequently, so their and stories shouted to the human heart.
“Their stories must be able to kill enemies or at least wound them. The story must convince the targets to do the desirable thing,” he said.
The prime minister also advised the media to effectively use both human and financial resources, saying that meant media administration should be about the people, who foresaw the future.
He called on media organisations to conduct surveys to gauge the quality of their content and whether it was what their audience and readers needed.
He noted the present media products were much improved. However, he said they did not meet the requirement of their audience and readers compared alternatives such as social media. Therefore, official media outlets had to do more to compete amid the current circumstances.
He praised the growth of Lao media and publications over the last 70 years on the mission of national liberation, protection, and development, and called on them to keep progressing.
During the meeting, 46 prizes were awarded to media and print organisations to recognise their exceptional contribution to reporting natural disasters including the flash flood caused by the collapse of an auxiliary dam in Attapeu province’s Sanamxay district in 2018 as well as their coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak and various floods occurring in recent years.
Shortly after his remarks, PM Thongloun and other senior officials participating in the ceremony toured media and print exhibits at the National Culture Hall to mark the 70th anniversary of Lao Mass Media and Publishing Day. Media and print organisations set up 22 booths showcasing their growing endeavours, products and equipment used in their daily reporting.