Asia

Vietnam profile - Media

  • 1 December 2014
  • From the section Asia

The Communist Party has a strong grip on the media. The Ministry of Culture and Information controls the press and broadcasting.

Media outlets and journalists risk sanctions for broaching sensitive topics and for criticising the government. But some press titles and online outlets do report on corruption in official circles.

TV is the dominant medium. State-run Vietnam Television (VTV) broadcasts from Hanoi. There is a growing pay TV industry, which includes the K+ satellite platform.

State-run Voice of Vietnam (VoV) has six radio networks, including VoV 5 with programmes in English, French and Russian.

There are hundreds of newspapers and magazines. The best-selling dailies are Tuoi Tre and Thanh Nien, which are run by youth organizations in Ho Chi Minh City.

There were nearly 31 million internet users by March 2012 (InternetWorldStats.com). Material deemed obscene is filtered, as are opposition sites. ISPs occasionally block access to Facebook.

Zing Me is a leading, domestically-owned gaming and social networking platform. Another social media site, Go.vn, is run by the state broadcaster.

Most social networking is non-political, with activists tending to favour blogging. There has been "massive" use of cyber attacks to silence dissent, and blogging "has become dangerous", says media freedom watchdog Reporters sans frontières (RSF).

Of the 34 bloggers currently detained, 25 were held since January 2011, when Vietnamese Communist Party's general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong took office.

In September 2013 Hanoi issued Decree 72, banning the use of blogs and social networks to share information about news developments. RSF says this move "took censorship to a new level".

The press

Image caption A newspaper vendor in Hanoi

Television

  • VTV - Vietnam Television

Radio

News agency/internet