Vietnam Media Profile

Vietnam Government and Media


Government Type: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Chief of State: President Nguyen Phu Trong  (Party General Secretary and the President)
Head of Government: Prime Minister: Nguyen Xuan PHUC
Political Party: The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) (Vietnam is a one-party state)
Political Position: Communism


World Press Freedom Rank: Vietnam 175/180

According to Reporters without Borders, in Vietnam, the media is tightly controlled by the communist party, and “the only sources of independently-reported information are bloggers” The organization RSF also warned that Police persecution of journalists on the basis of national security is common practice and to justify jailing, the party often “resorts increasingly to articles 79, 88 and 258 of the criminal code,” which has long prison terms. For the internet, RSF points out the party established a cyber-warfare department called “Force 47.”

Government Influence on Media: Vietnam is a one-party led communist state and the media is strictly controlled by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). Criticism of the party is a criminal offense under Article 117 of the Vietnamese Penal Code. For example, Amnesty International reports that human rights activist Pham Doan Trang was persecuted due to her work which was referred to by Vietnamese authorities as “anti-state propaganda”.  Further, VOA (Voice of America) reports that recently (2020) another blogger Pham Chi Thanh who used to work for the state-owned Voice of Vietnam radio station, was arrested under the same Article 117 of the Criminal Code. He is accused of “producing and keeping documents “of propaganda against the State” and published a book that was critical of Communist Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong. VOA reports that Vietnamese authorities transferred Pham Chi Thanh to a Psychiatric Hospital despite his wife saying “I’ve been living with him for years, I know that his mental health is normal. He doesn’t have a problem.”  

All print and broadcast outlets are controlled by the state and TV remains the most popular medium with national broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV) dominating the media market. The VTC Vietnam Multimedia Corporation is a Vietnamese state-owned enterprise that operates under the Ministry of Information and Communication that controls the media. When it comes to Internet consumers, the use of social media is increasing in recent years especially citizen journalists and bloggers who are subject to the government’s crackdown.  In summary, the media of Vietnam is absolutely controlled by the Vietnamese government.

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