What an honour, after many years visiting and working in Vietnam, I’ve now been appointed as an international media strategy advisor to the Vietnamese Journalists Association (VJA)
When I visit the country I try to devote one day to working as a volunteer with the VJA’s training arm, the VJTC (Vietnamese Journalists Training Centre). This usually falls on a weekend day off or prior to my evening flight home.
During these sessions I work with a selected group of senior broadcasting and print managers and journalists who are part of the VJTC’s training of trainers (ToT) group.
And they’ve become good friends over the years as we discuss the latest data on changing audience behaviour, new technology, newsroom workflows, and any other developments that have an impact on the Vietnamese media.
On my recent visit to Vietnam, which took the whole of April, I managed to fit in two day-long sessions for the VJTC, one in Ha Noi and the other in Ho Chi Minh City.
What always impresses me was how keen the Vietnamese are to develop financially independent media organisations. They are receptive to new ideas and fast to adapt and change.
Over the last six months I’ve written 40 training modules for them which have been translated into Vietnamese and uploaded to the VJTC website so that the ToT team can use the material in their own training. And I’ve left them with 20 slide presentations to use in the courses they run.
All the material is released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 so they are free to do with it what they want. This is all part of capacity building and skills transfer; there is no point restricting the use of tools and ideas by slapping copyright notices all over them.
So now the relationship has been put on an official footing and my appointment certificate is hanging pride of place on my study wall back in England.