Nurturing revolutionary sprit among readers

Thursday, 2021-03-11 10:01:25
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A delegation of journalists from the Lao People's Democratic Republic visit Nhan Dan Newspaper’s house of commemoration.
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NDO – On the 70th anniversary of the first issue of Nhan Dan Newspaper, retired journalist Nguyen Si Dai recalls what he has learned after four decades working at the newspaper.

Nhan Dan Newspaper published its first issue on March 11, 1951. However, the history of the newspaper must be dated on June 21, 1925, when Uncle Ho founded Thanh Nien (Youth) Newspaper.
I first came to Nhan Dan Newspaper’s headquarters at 71 Hang Trong Street in Hanoi when the newspaper turned 30 years old. To date, I have worked at this place for four decades.

I and other newly-recruited journalists received training and joined political meetings to have a deeper understanding on the time-honoured tradition and function of Nhan Dan Newspaper.

It is extremely difficult for journalists to have their own names on Nhan Dan Newspaper. It is a great honour for them to sign their names after their articles. Journalists working at the Party’s newspaper must be absolutely loyal to the Party, and their writings must closely adhere to the Party’s resolutions.

Nhan Dan Newspaper’s journalists must have the newspaper’s approval to meet with foreigners or very important persons, and such meetings must have at least two journalists attending. In addition, while working at conference, they must be exemplary in working styles and speech. They are not allowed to speak on behalf of the newspaper or take advantage of their position in Nhan Dan Newspaper to serve their personal interests.

Any violations will be put under strict consideration, and those who make mistake will be requested to leave their editing and writing jobs, even though he is just a typist.

It is an honour to work as a journalist. Nhan Dan Newspaper’s journalists in particular receive much respect from their colleagues and people.

On my first working days at the newspaper, I used write long sentences in my articles. Despite being criticised for this, I still argued and cited ‘War and Peace’ by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, in which the author even wrote a sentence hundreds of words in length.

However, I have gradually come to hold that it is obviously difficult to write long sentences, but it is even more difficult to make it short. I have spent dozens of years to practice this style, but it does always work.

Veteran journalist Quang Dam once told me a story that when he worked as a war journalist, he was lucky enough to meet President Ho Chi Minh. In reply to the President’s question on his previous job, he said that he had coding job at the Information Department of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army.

The President identified that coding is a job requiring him to write a code which others don’t understand, and that it is in contrast to journalism, in which journalists must work to make their articles understandable to any reader.

President Ho’s analysis lighten up Quang Dam’s mind. Since then, he had focused his writing following the instruction in order to bring his articles closer to wider readers.

In the midst of fierce competition in modern journalism, Nhan Dan Newspaper has brought about many renovations to meet the increasing demand of readers. Beginning as a four-page newspaper, the newspaper now covers eight papers with assorted columns updating various fields in life.

In recent years, the newspaper has developed into a multi-media agency with the launch of Nhan Dan Online and Nhan Dan Television Channel.

Over its 70-year history of establishment and development, Nhan Dan Newspaper has expanded its operation with an increasing number of copies. However, the newspaper needs to continue renovating its operation and content in order to consolidate its position, keep up with the breath of life, and nurture the revolutionary spirit among readers.