VNA Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh (R) addresses the press conference on November 22 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, the Steering Committee on External Information Work and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) held a press conference on November 22 to announce the fifth edition of the National External Information Service Awards at the VNA headquarters.

The National External Information Service Awards 2018, organised by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, the Steering Committee on External Information Work and the VNA, honours outstanding authors, press works and books in the external information sector. The VNA has been selected to act as the standing agency of this year’s awards.

Speaking at the press conference, Bui Truong Giang, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, and deputy head of the Steering Committee on External Information Work, affirmed that over the years, the external information service has reaped positive results, contributing to maintaining political stability, serving socio-economic development, ensuring national defence-security and promoting international integration. It has also helped raise the prestige of Vietnam in the international arena and introduce the country to international friends.

Notably, in 2018, Vietnam impressed the global community with the successful hosting of several diplomatic events such as the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, the sixth Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS-6) and the 10th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Summit (CLV-10), the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) and the sixth Assembly of the Global Environment Fund.

The annual National External Information Service Awards, launched in 2014, have been participated in by many journalists from both domestic and international publications.

In 2017, the organising board received 970 entries in forms ranging from print newspaper articles, online articles, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, press photos, landscape photos and books. The works were published in 15 languages including Vietnamese, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Khmer, Thai and Bulgarian.  Contestants were diverse, including journalists and collaborators of domestic and foreign press agencies, experts, researchers, photographers, Vietnamese representative agencies abroad and foreign representative agencies in Vietnam. The organising board awarded 67 works, including seven first, 15 second, 18 third and 27 consolation prizes.

VNA Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh, deputy head of the steering board for the National External Information Service Awards 2018, said this is the second time the VNA has been selected to be the standing agency of the awards after the first in 2014, making it the first press agency to host the event twice. The double number of submissions after four years, the addition of a new genre – book, the plentiful forms of entries and the diverse contestants have showed the increasing appeal of the awards.

According to Minh, with a range of external information channels, forms and works, together with cooperation with about 40 foreign news agencies and a network of 30 representative offices in all the five continents, the VNA boasts many advantages in disseminating information on the event.

Submissions can be in any language and must be published in the forms of an article of printed newspaper, online newspaper and website (licensed by competent agencies), radio broadcast, television broadcast, press photo, landscape photo or book. They must have been broadcast via licensed mass media in Vietnam or in a foreign country from January 1 to December 31, 2018. The awards will be announced and presented in May 2019.

Entries must be sent to the Standing Agency of the National External Information Service Awards 2018 before March 31, 2019.-VNA