Managing Vietnamese Newsrooms: The Role of Internal Communication
Vietnam is one of the very few communist regimes left in the world. With Vietnam accelerating the procedures to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2004 and joining it in 2006, despite very strict political censorship, the news media, which are all state-owned, have experienced much more openness. Most newspapers and television/radio stations have become self-financed and market-oriented. The communist-party-run news organisations are still subsidised but the trend is that subsidies are being cut down sharply. Competition is becoming more and more severe. Changes in the business environment will lead to changes in management strategy. This research study seeks to answer the question: How are Vietnamese newspapers strategically coping with the changing environment? As most of the influential factors are economic, the study will focus more on the strategies to improve proficiency and productivity. It will also only focus on newsroom activities. Other activities, such as advertising or distribution, are excluded. However, where appropriate and necessary, the later will also be mentioned to provide a better context to understand the newsroom strategies. Media performance and productivity are influenced by different factors: organisational culture and creativity, management and leadership, etc. Communication is a vital factor, because it is the essence of any institution. Unfortunately, communication has not been given enough attention by both media managers and media researchers, as the researcher’s literature review shows. This study will also try to narrow this gap by examining the role of internal communication in the realisation of newsroom strategies. The main part of the research will be done on two Vietnamese dailies: Tuoi Tre (The Youth) and Tien Phong (Vanguard). The first is the biggest and most influential newspaper in Vietnam while the second can be considered most representative or typical because of its middle size. The study will employ a combination of research methods: observation, interviews, document analysis, and a questionnaire survey.