Businesses complain about harassment from the press

When asked if reporters were threatening their businesses in order to receive advertising in their newspapers, a number of businesspeople said there "have been numerous such cases".

T, the media executive of a large private corporation, showed VietNamNet reporters a message on his mobile phone, which had been sent that day.

Businesses complain about harassment from the press

Nguyen Tri Thuc from Tap Chi Cong San



The sender introduced himself as a reporter and asked for a meeting with the spokesperson of the corporation to get ‘some related documents’.

The executive asked the reporter to send questions via email and said he would reply.

However, the reporter refused and stressed that he would still publish the article even though he could not meet the spokesperson. He also warned that the opinions of the company’s leaders would be recorded and would appear in the follow-ups of a series of articles.

“But what if he (the reporter) truly wanted to meet the company’s leaders to get information?” VietNamNet reporters asked.

“No," the executive asserted, adding that he has been in the post for many years and he knows who just wants money and who wants to meet for information.

He mentioned another story. “One day, we had a small environmental incident. A reporter called us and threatened that if we did not sign an advertisement contract worth VND100 million, he would 'fling’ articles about the incident at the company,” he said.

The common trick used by reporters is that they say they know a lot of information which may be disadvantageous to the company, and if the company wants to ‘settle the problem’ it needs to ‘have a working session’ with ‘our leaders’. The final purpose of the meetings is to obtain contracts from the company.

However, he refused to sign the contract. “If we had signed it, more and more reporters would come and ask the same thing,” he explained.

 

When asked why he did not report the cases to the police, T said it would be better for the company to ‘keep silent’, because ‘while the grass grows, the horse starves’.

The common trick used by reporters is that they say they know a lot of information which may be disadvantageous to the company, and if the company wants to ‘settle the problem’ it needs to ‘have a working session’ with ‘our leaders’. The final purpose of the meetings is to obtain contracts from the company.

Meanwhile, a media representative of a state-owned enterprise said that he receives numerous calls from press agencies, inviting him to sign advertisement contracts, sponsor events, and run media campaigns.

“I don’t know if they are real reporters, or they are just officials of advertising agencies. If we refuse the invitations for cooperation, they will call again and again, and threaten us,” he said.

“We are a state owned enterprise with limited budget for media campaigns. And we cannot sign advertisement contracts with all newspapers,” he said.

In another case, a newspaper published tens of articles, disclosing the problems of a state-owned enterprise, with materials provided by some sources.

At that time, the leader of the company was seriously ill and had left Vietnam for overseas medical treatment. The newspaper then reported that he had tried to flee abroad.

Later, the problems shown in the articles were clarified by the police. The problems had been wrongdoings made by their predecessors, which did not have any relation to the current management board. The people who ‘borrowed the power of the press’ to manipulate the business were prosecuted.

‘Black patron’

In the last months of the year, some press agencies ‘turn on the green light on’ to reporters to visit businesses, asking the latter to sign advertisement contracts in exchange for ‘press agencies’ silence’.

V.X.H, deputy CEO of a real estate firm, said every time the firm plans to introduce a new project, he has to meet reporters to give a "black patron" package. This money is given to a reporter who is the head of a team of reporters, who divides it among others. When bad news about projects appears in newspapers, the reporters change the information or take down the articles.

Businesses fear press agencies

Nguyen Tri Thuc from Tap Chi Cong San (Communist Journal) said the press has acquired a bad reputation and he sometimes feels ashamed and dare not say he is a journalist.

Thuc said the harassment by the press has become alarming, making businesses afraid of meeting journalists.

“If businesses give money to one newspaper, other newspapers will come with the same scenarios,” he said.

“Some officials in provinces said they are more afraid of meeting the press than their superiors,” he added.

Many businesses have reported cases to the police and appropriate agencies and asked for help. Many cases in which reporters extorted money from businesses were caught red-handed and brought to court.

Ngo Huy Toan from the Ministry of Information and Communications’ inspection agency noted that the reporters extorting money are from certain press agencies, especially online newspapers under associations.

Nguyen The Ky, General Director of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), stated that this not only spoils press agencies, but also the leaders of the press agencies.

A press agency is like a family, if the parents are decent, love their children, have real responsibility for their children, the children will always respect them. But if parents pamper and cover up for their naughty children, and use dirty money their children earn, the families will be damaged and value will disappear.

In current conditions, leaders of press agencies, press management agencies and governing bodies are required to be more exemplary, responsible, and serious. The press agencies that have good regulations, and regularly cultivate ideology and political and social knowledge among their staff, will develop and become prestigious. 

Ha Duy - An Phuong - Manh Hung - Le Nam - Nhan Tung

Reporters accused of extortion receive prison sentences

Reporters accused of extortion receive prison sentences

More cases of journalists blackmailing businesses have been discovered and prosecuted in the last three years.

 
 

Other News

.
Civil servants go to office to work, not to show off fashion
Civil servants go to office to work, not to show off fashion
FEATUREicon  10/07/2021 

Dinh Van Minh, Director of the Legal Department under the Government Inspectorate supports the Ministry of Home Affairs' decision on banning civil servants from going to the office in jeans, T-shirts without lapels, shorts and high-cut skirts.

Lychees and the agricultural revolution in Vietnam
Lychees and the agricultural revolution in Vietnam
FEATUREicon  09/07/2021 

Farmers in the northern province of Hai Duong have earned revenue of VND1,600 billion in the lychee season this year, the highest ever. 

Minister, officers run against time to bring VND26 trillion support package to people
Minister, officers run against time to bring VND26 trillion support package to people
FEATUREicon  09/07/2021 

Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said agencies and localities cannot be slow in disbursing the VND26 trillion support package.

Exports increase sharply, but concerns persist about trade deficit
Exports increase sharply, but concerns persist about trade deficit
FEATUREicon  09/07/2021 

Vietnam’s merchandise trade balance in the first half of the year resulted in a trade deficit. Last year, it had a trade surplus for the same period.

Zero Covid and the new quarantine strategy
Zero Covid and the new quarantine strategy
FEATUREicon  08/07/2021 

The Prime Minister’s approval to pilot home quarantine for F1 cases instead of concentrated quarantine is considered a turning point in Covid-19 prevention in Vietnam.

Unemployment in the time of Covid-19
Unemployment in the time of Covid-19
FEATUREicon  08/07/2021 

The unemployment statistics in Vietnam are always controversial.

Opening the huge market for e-sports
Opening the huge market for e-sports
FEATUREicon  08/07/2021 

Along with the development of the game market and digital entertainment platform, eSports has potential for development in a diverse and highly globalized ecosystem.

Vietnam takes a big step forward in international publications in social sciences
Vietnam takes a big step forward in international publications in social sciences
FEATUREicon  08/07/2021 

About 10 years ago, a mathematician said that Vietnam did not yet have social science study works. The comment seemed to be a bit harsh, but it did make sense, especially when it comes to international publications.

Vietnamese children need safer environment in cyberspace
Vietnamese children need safer environment in cyberspace
FEATUREicon  07/07/2021 

Children often spend a lot of time learning, playing and exploring on the internet. Besides the undeniable benefits, unseen threats are also part of cyberspace.

Vietnam’s retail market: global giants unexpectedly fall short
Vietnam’s retail market: global giants unexpectedly fall short
FEATUREicon  09/07/2021 

Vietnamese have turned the tables to become dominant in the retail market, while many foreign giants have had to leave.

Farm produce exports: specialties reach new markets
Farm produce exports: specialties reach new markets
FEATUREicon  08/07/2021 

Despite Covid-19, Vietnam’s farm produce exports still achieved impressive results, especially litchis.

Newspapers and social media: cooperation or confrontation?
Newspapers and social media: cooperation or confrontation?
FEATUREicon  07/07/2021 

VietNamNet spoke with Nguyen Ngoc Chu, a respected mathematician, who is a well-known Facebooker whose posts on his page attract at least 1,000 likes each.

Is Vietnam’s Covid-19 treatment Favipiravir drug effective?
Is Vietnam’s Covid-19 treatment Favipiravir drug effective?
FEATUREicon  07/07/2021 

Vietnam has never included any antiviral drugs in its Covid-19 treatment regimen because of unclear and unproved effectiveness of the drugs in clinical trial results.

What’s behind the high GDP growth rate?
What’s behind the high GDP growth rate?
FEATUREicon  07/07/2021 

The high GDP growth rate of 5.64 percent reported for H1, when a number of large cities and provinces were under social distancing, businesses had to close, and people lost their livelihoods, has puzzled many people.

Strengthening tools to protect children in cyberspace
Strengthening tools to protect children in cyberspace
FEATUREicon  05/07/2021 

The strong development of the Internet and social networks has made children become digital citizens early, which brings many benefits in the service of learning, entertainment, and enhanced social interaction.

CPI rises slowly as people run out of money
CPI rises slowly as people run out of money
FEATUREicon  06/07/2021 

The reported CPI only reflects 60-70 percent of the real situation, according to the former Chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association Vu Vinh Phu.

Minister of Home Affairs: state apparatus is too cumbersome
Minister of Home Affairs: state apparatus is too cumbersome
FEATUREicon  06/07/2021 

Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra says that the state apparatus is overly cumbersome with too many levels of hierarchy and an overlapping structure in ministries and ministerial-level agencies.

2022 World Cup qualifier: What is Vietnam striving for?
2022 World Cup qualifier: What is Vietnam striving for?
FEATUREicon  06/07/2021 

The Vietnamese team already knows exactly the opponents in the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. How far does it want to go?

Vietnam railways corporation incurs big losses, thousands of workers take leave
Vietnam railways corporation incurs big losses, thousands of workers take leave
FEATUREicon  06/07/2021 

The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) is experiencing its toughest days in history as many trains have stopped running during Covid-19. Many workers have had to take unpaid leave.

Fighting for $52 billion market, int’l groups flock to Vietnam
Fighting for $52 billion market, int’l groups flock to Vietnam
FEATUREicon  05/07/2021 

Despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-commerce industry still witnessed explosive growth in 2020.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN