External Information Service Awards scaled up: VNA Deputy General Director hinh anh 1VNA Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National External Information Service Awards has proven its pervasive influence since it was launched five years ago as an initiative of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), VNA Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh has said.

In an interview granted to the press ahead of the award ceremony, to be held at the VNA’s headquarters in Hanoi on June 7, Minh noted that the VNA proposed organising a contest for external information service, as press works of this type are not included in the national press awards.

The four major media agencies in the country – the VNA, Vietnam Television, Radio The Voice of Vietnam and Nhan Dan newspaper – have been assigned to organize the awards on a rotary basis.

The VNA hosted the first edition of the awards in 2014, and the second time this year.

The VNA Deputy Director General highlighted the contribution of the State-run news agency to the awards, considering the fact that the agency has nearly 10 units engaged in external information service.

He said the VNA has submitted about 200 out of 900-1,000 entries to the awards and won some 20 prizes each year, about one fourth of the total number of prizes.   
Minh, who is deputy head of the steering board of the 2018 National External Information Service Awards, noted that besides domestic journalists, the contest has attracted the participation of an increasing number of foreign journalists who wrote in different languages such as English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Korean.

Of note, the 2018 awards had received an entry from a Mongolian author, the VNA Deputy General Director said, adding that articles written by foreign journalists and published on foreign newspapers would have greater influence on foreign audience. Therefore, apart from honouring domestic journalists working for the external information services, the awards aim to engage more foreign reporters in writing more about Vietnam, thus improving the efficiency of external information service, he stressed.

Towards this goal, the VNA has coordinated with foreign embassies and the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as provincial Departments of External Affairs and Boards for Information and Communication to popularise the award.

The news agency has also increased coverage about the award throughout the year, especially before and after the award ceremony, he said.

The 2018 contest has received nearly 1,000 entries in 13 languages. Around 30 contestants/groups of contestants are foreigners or Vietnamese living abroad.-VNA