The first ever National External Information Service Awards 2014 (in the field of press) were presented at the Vietnam News Agency’s headquarters in Hanoi on May 27.

The awards were organised by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Communication and Education and the Central Steering Committee for External Information Services.

The presentation ceremony was attended by Politburo member and standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Le Hong Anh; and Politburo member Dinh The Huynh, who is the Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Communications and Education, and Head of the Central Steering Committee for External Information Services. It also saw the presence of officials of some central committees, ministries and sectors, key press agencies of Vietnam, and award winners.

From the call for nominations on December 8, 2014 to the closing date of March 31, 2015, 515 entries from many Vietnamese and foreign press and media agencies were submitted.

They included 255 print newspaper entries, 68 online newspaper entries, 14 radio entries, 79 television entries and 99 press photo entries.

The entries were created in 10 languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Lao and Bulgarian. Entrants included journalists, experts, researchers, Vietnamese expatriates and some foreigners.

Entries for the awards varied considerably in categories and content that comprehensively reflected Vietnam’s political, economic, cultural and social life and reviewed important events in the region and the world in 2014.

They also introduced the great achievements made in the “Doi moi” (renewal) process and national development and defence; promoted images of Vietnamese land, culture, and people to the world; communicated the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws; and refuted fabricated information and distorted arguments on Vietnam, especially regarding important and sensitive issues as well as emerging issues of public concern such as sea and island sovereignty, borders and territory, ethnic and religious affairs, democracy and human rights.

After the preliminary and final judgment rounds, 59 entries were selected for the first, second and third place awards as well as consolation prizes in five categories: print newspaper, online newspaper, radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and press photo.

In total, there were five first prize winners, 10 second prize winners, 13 third prize winners, and 31 consolation prize holders.

Speaking at the award presentation ceremony, Dinh The Huynh congratulated the individual and group prize winners and affirmed that the National External Information Service Awards 2014 was a success.

He stressed that at present, external information services are benefitting from numerous new opportunities while also facing an array of challenges.

He said agencies working on external information services need to understand the importance of their work, regularly renovate and improve the efficiency of services offered and continue implementing the Strategy for the development of external information services in the 2011-2020 period of the Political Bureau so as to help promote Vietnam’s prestige and win over the assistance of the international community and overseas Vietnamese communities, thus creating favourable conditions for the cause of national development and defence.

Outstanding works among the winning entries will be chosen to print and publish in several languages.-VNA