Columbia Journalism Workshop on Vietnamese Media Gets Students Talking

Columbia Journalism Workshop on Vietnamese Media Gets Students Talking

by John Gallagher

Columbia University–Journalism Enrichment Week 2018 took part in a discussion on “The Media Landscape of Vietnam” at Columbia School of Journalism this week . The discussion was co-sponsored and held at Columbia’s  Weatherhead East Asian Institute, located within the journalism school campus.The presentation was led by Nguyen Thu Giang, a professor at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi, and moderated by Duncan James McCargo, Visiting Professor of Political Sciences.

The discussion focused on the burgeoning media presence in Vietnam, and included a history of the country’s media from French Colonialism, post World War 2, and Cold War/Vietnam War, to the present.

During the discussion,  Giang referenced Vietnam’s “Age of Yahoo and personal blogging” which took place between 2001 and 2009. Google and Facebook, she said, are the key digital platforms with no homegrown competition. Vietnamese people are also able to access 200 channels including MTV and HBO. Innovation freshman Laniece Rodgers took the opportunity to raise her hand and ask: “Do you have Netflix?” Giang responded “Yes,” adding that the movies are subtitled.

Innovation senior Melissa Lopez said that it would be interesting to do a before and after comparison between the media of Vietnam in the 1980’s  and present day. “It just seems like it went from being completely controlled and owned by the government and now it’s all private,” said Lopez.