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Media advised to adjust to global changes

Media outlets in Laos have been instructed to make adjustments in order to survive amid global changes and the rapid growth of social media.  
Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, gave the advice on Tuesday when addressing media representatives in Vientiane to mark the 70th Mass Media and Publishing Day.
He said it was critical for media organisations to improve their level of professionalism, provide useful information to meet the needs of the general public, and serve the national interest.

“Journalists need to be responsible to the public, providing timely and useful information while ensuring the accuracy of information to meet the needs of people and national development,” Mr Savankhone said.
“Mainstream media needs to improve the quality of content and the efficiency of their management. The media needs to develop a variety of products, creating options for people in the way they consume information.”
The best programme on a television channel can attract huge audiences, just like a restaurant provides various kinds of food for its clients. If the restaurant can provide just one tasty dish, people will want to eat there regularly, he added.
Traditional forms of media including newspapers would not disappear despite the rapid growth of new media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp, he stressed.
But media outlets should develop a variety of products, enhancing the professionalism of journalists and using fewer people to ensure the proficiency of operations.
Nowadays, anyone can be a journalist, producing videos and writing articles to post on their own media platforms. In addition, companies set up their own websites to market their products as opposed to advertising in mainstream media.
Now that companies have more choices about the way they advertise their products, mainstream media is encountering great challenges in remaining financially viable following shrinking revenues.
Many newspapers have been forced to go online as they cannot afford the burden of printing costs. Critics say the future is not promising for print media since more and more people are getting the information they need from their mobile phones.
Conversely, Mr Savankhone said, traditional forms of media will survive but will have a reduced presence because people want more variety in the information they receive.
The strong point of mainstream media is the accuracy and reliability of the information they provide, which could be used for research purposes.
Mr Savankhone pointed out the significant role played by the media in disseminating information about the Party’s policies and laws, contributing to national liberation in 1975 and serving the country’s socio-economic development over the past 70 years.
The media also plays an important role in promoting better understanding between Laos and the rest of the world, which builds international cooperation. 
August 13, 1950, was an important day in Lao history when the media and its publications were first established. It has been a long road since then. It was not only a significant day in the country’s history but has vital meaning for media and publishing circles as August 13 has been designated in the Law on Media and Publishing as Media and Publication Day.
August 13 is a time for media personnel to review their achievements and the challenges hindering their plans, as well as discuss possible solutions to problems.


By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update August 5, 2020)

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