What should be done to help traditional media overcome challenges in the digital age?

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism recently held a two-day scientific meeting on the theme “Media Management, Utilisation and Development in the New Era”. To develop in the digital age, the Lao media should have four characteristics, including colourful reports to attract audiences, provide useful information and entertainment to society, while other sectors such as the government and private bodies should provide real information to the media on time. In addition, it should distribute information from all over quickly and cover everything happening nationwide. Vientiane Times asked members of the public what should be done to address some of the challenges facing news media in Laos.


Ms Chanpheng Voravong, a teacher in Xanasomboun district in south Laos: I live in a rural area and we don’t receive news from the centre very quickly. Our school has no funds to buy newspapers and it also doesn’t have internet so that we can follow online news on social media. I’d like the government to add to the budget so that local communities can quickly access news.
Mr Somphod Phonethepha, a doctor in Champasak province: We just follow the news on social media, especially on Facebook, but we don’t know which news is real and which is fake news. I want the media to ensure that fake news is not spread in society, which I think in this case, is also the duty of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. The ministry should to create a new system to act against people who distribute fake news against some people on social media.

Ms Souphaphone Ramungkoun, a resident of Hadxayfong district: I think the government ought to add more officials to its media division. We should have specific faculty for media at the National University and we should encourage youngsters to study this subject as it can help build new media professionals for the digital age.

Mr Alitar Aphayvong, a student in Chanthabouly district: The government should support the acquisition of new technology and equipment for journalists, such as digital cameras, modern recorders, video equipment and vehicles, which are essential for them. The most important thing is to have experts who can work hard to transform the media in our country.

Ms Phoumy, a resident at Champasak province: I never cared about the media as I live in the countryside without entertainment and internet access and I do not read newspapers. If you ask me, I think we should start from the local community to train people about the essentials of media and publishing and then think about bolstering media for the digital era.

Ms Aliya Saenpunya, a resident of Hadxayfong district: I confused how the journalist work and what are they doing in each day. I just saw on TV from neighboring country the journalist can travel to different places in largest land even other continent to exchange new experience with others professional from different countries, so the government may ensure their security, particularly when they fly by air plane, we need to media development in digital age.

Mr Kay Puemkamone, a resident of Xaythany district: I like to read newspapers but I can’t find them in my village because newspapers are often not distributed in rural areas. I call on the government to have a policy of selling daily newspapers in the countryside instead of publishing them only in the cities. When I miss the news on TV, I may read it in a newspaper.

By Phouthong Sivongsa
(Latest Update October 02, 2018)

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