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Peer assistance network formed to protect journalists in Viet Nam

With the support of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), and in line with the objectives of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, the Center for Research on Development Communication (RED) has launched a new Media Rights Advisory Network on 25 August 2014.

Launching of the Media Rights Advisory Network ©UNESCO / RED

Comprising reputable journalists knowledgeable in the field of media rights, the network allows these journalists to provide safety consultations and guidance to their colleagues to protect them against media rights violations.

The network is the main component of an IPDC project to promote the safety of journalists in Viet Nam, which also consisted of a two-day training workshop conducted by RED and UNESCO, and facilitated by the Viet Nam Ministry of Information and Communications. During the workshop, 25 media professionals and media management officials were equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to protect themselves when working, such as an understanding of media law and regulations and skills for peer assistance. Participants also engaged in constructive discussions on the draft guidelines for the network, which had been developed by RED in collaboration with senior journalists. 

To complement this, an online interactive forum on RED’s website is being developed, and will serve as a platform where best safety-related practices and protection mechanisms will be shared among journalists and media professionals in Viet Nam.

By providing a strong network for monitoring and peer assistance, the project contributes to fostering a free and safe working environment for journalists and media professionals, increasing freedom of expression and, ultimately, strengthening peace and democracy in Viet Nam.