The direction of the national media and news output until 2020 will be more focused on quality over quantity to provide a better service to readers, a senior official has said.

According to Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan, a plan is in place to build a more professional and modern journalism sector, meeting the information needs of people and serving national construction, defence and development as well as international integration.

The plan, which is scheduled to be approved in April, also aims for better management of the sector, he said.

Accordingly, the ministry will suspend the licensing of new press agencies while reviewing existing ones in order to shut down any that fail to follow their registered principles and intentions, he said.

Deputy Minister Tuan underscored that the re-organisation of press agencies is needed to enhance the quality of the agencies and develop a strong multimedia communications network.

Currently, Vietnam has 838 press agencies, including 199 print publications, 67 radio and television stations and 17,000 licensed reporters, he noted.

Assessing the performance of the national press in recent years, he said strong, positive and rapid progress has been seen in successfully publicising the Party and State’s policies and laws and the aspirations of the people.

The press has played an important role in fighting corruption and other social evils, making significant contributions to national development and international integration, said Tuan.

Particularly, the press has been active in the protection of national sovereignty over borders and sea and island territory and created social consensus, he specified.

The deputy minister also noted that the press has provided overseas Vietnamese around the world with an accurate and clear insight into the nation and people of contemporary Vietnam , as well as the policies and laws of the Party and State.

This has helped win the support of the Vietnamese community abroad and international partners, particularly in national growth, he emphasised.

However, Tuan also pointed out some of the sector’s shortcomings, including the poor quality of some agencies, a worrying trend towards the commercialisation of news and a lack of caution in professional practices, leading to inaccurate information occasionally being published.

He urged the sector to further promote its role and responsibilities in leading social opinion, rejecting inaccurate reporting from biased sources and fulfilling its tasks as a forum for people from all walks of life.-VNA