Government tightens media rules hinh anh 1Online newspapers in Vietnam must maintain an electronic depository of their stories for at least a year from the first date of publication. (Photo: 

Hanoi (VNA) - A digital copy of every news and feature story published on online newspapers must be stored independently and kept unchanged for at least one year for inspection purpose, the government has said.

This is part of the Government’s decision to store an electronic depository for the press, which includes radio, television and online newspapers.

The decision aims to help the Government better assess the quality of the media in its reporting on issues and events. It also permits regular and unannounced inspections by authorised agencies. It will come into effect on March 30.

As per the decision, the Ministry of Information and Communications will set up a data stockpile to keep electronic depositories of stories and products in radio, television and online newspapers.  

The digital copies of stories and products published on radio and television must be stored for at least six months from the date of first broadcast, while that of online newspapers must be maintained for at least a year from the first date of publication.

The electronic depository can be used as evidence while investigating violations by the media, and the publishing of incorrect information.

At a meeting held late last year, Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan said that Vietnam’s media still published sensational stories to attract more views. In some cases, they publicised such stories in the morning and removed them by the afternoon.

Such stories affect society negatively, he said, adding that some newspapers used information provided on websites or social media without verifying the information.

In 2016, the ministry took drastic action by punishing newspapers and reporters for violating laws and ethics, Tuan said. This year, the ministry would continue to take strong steps to better manage the press, particularly websites, he said.-VNA