First-prize winners of  the National External Information Service Awards 2017 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The State-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) won 17 out of 67 prizes of the National External Information Service Awards 2017 which were announced at a ceremony held at VNA’s headquarters in Hanoi on June 14.

The 17 prizes comprise three first prizes, four second prizes, four third prizes and six consolidation prizes.

Vietnam News – the national English language daily, the Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Region Pictorial, and photojournalist Nhan Huu Sang of the Press Photography Department are among the first-prize winners.

Other first prizes were presented to individuals and groups from Thanh Nien (Young People) and Nhan Dan (People’s) newspapers, the Quang Ngai Radio and Television Station and the Vietnam Television.

The award, the fourth of its edition, also honoured 15 second prizes, 18 third prizes and 27 consolidation prizes, in the categories of print newspaper and electronic newspaper in Vietnamese and foreign languages, radio broadcast, television broadcast, press photo and book.

The organising board received 970 entries, up nearly 9 percent as compared with the previous edition, with 931 works qualified for the contest. They are made in 15 languages – Vietnamese, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Bulgarian, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Lao, Khmer, Slovakian, German and Thai.

Of the entries, 22 come from foreigners. The others hail from press agencies and newspapers at both central and grassroots levels, and overseas Vietnamese.

The organising board said the works have actively contributed to promoting the land, people and history of Vietnam to the world. They have touched upon political, economic, social and cultural lives of Vietnamese at home and abroad.

The works have reflected guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the State, as well as Vietnam’s views and stance on regional and international issues in an accurate, timely and vivid way, while opposing false and distorted information about the country, the board said.

The ceremony saw the attendance of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education Vo Van Thuong who is also head of the central steering committee for external information work, and head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh, among others.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy PM and FM Minh congratulated the winners of the award, which, he said, has helped enhance connectivity and coordination between foreign news service units, as well as between domestic and foreign news services.

The 2017 contest’s success has not only reflected the prestige of the award but also affirmed the important role of the external information work in national construction and development, the official said.

He attributed achievements recorded in the country’s foreign affairs in 2017, especially the APEC Year, to contributions of the external information work, including the award.
External information has helped raise trust, consensus and support of people from all walks of life, both at home and abroad, and create an aggregate strength to affirm Vietnam’s prestige and position in the international area, Minh noted.

He urged the external information work, including the award, to keep a close watch on domestic and international situations to serve the interests of the nation.

Via the award, the external information work, should renew form, content and ways to access audience, focusing on foreigners and foreign countries and territories, in an accurate, timely, flexible and suitable manner.

The official also underlined the need to increase information in foreign languages, especially news about the country’s socio-economic development, national sovereignty protection, guidelines and policies, while stepping up the application of information-technology in the work.

More attention should be paid to personnel training, he said, suggesting that the award should be rolled out on a larger scale to promote its prestige.

First launched in 2014, the contest has drawn great attention from both domestic and foreign press organisations, publishers and reporters. The number of entries to the competition has increased through years from 515 works in 10 languages in 2014 to 970 entries in 15 languages in 2016.

The award will continue to be held in 2018, open to Vietnamese and foreign individuals and groups, each of them could submit no more than 7 entries or entry series to the organising board. -VNA