Vietnamese Government Claims They Will Strengthen Power of the Press
The Vietnamese government has implemented a new decree that promises to give more freedom to the media. These new provisions are designed to protect journalists that are on duty. Under the new law, those who purposefully interfere with the work of journalists will be fined 10-30 million Vietnamese dollars (approx. $500-1500 U.S.). The government decree will take effect on February 25 of this year.
There is reason to be optimistic about this new law, since it might represent a step towards more freedoms for people living under the Communist regime. An idealist might argue that this is a starting point for further reforms in the system, as it gives the media more power to inform the people. This could be a positive step, but only if the Communists follow through. If the Communists fail to enforce this law, what difference would it make?
As one should know, Communists can twist the story in many different ways. In some instances, they would impose false charges on unfavorable victims in order to unfairly detain them. Other times, they would distort the story so that they wouldn’t have to comply with the law, leaving the citizens to fend for themselves. Anyone familiar with Communists will know that the rule of law means nothing to them. Anything that Communists do, they do for their own interests, therefore they cannot be trusted.
Another question is who the government will choose to protect. Since Vietnam’s media is state-controlled, is out of the question to suggest that the Communists may only defend those who write in their favor and continue brutalize those who opposes them? Maybe this is just a diversion to make the Communist government appear more humane in the eyes of the world. Or, maybe someone really does respect power of the press and wants to give more freedoms to the people, who knows. As I’ve stated before, actions speak louder than words, so the only thing to do is wait and see.