Despite growing in both quality and quantity, more work needs to be done to improve media and printing works to deliver healthier information to feed society, the minister in charge of information affairs stated yesterday.

Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara made the remarks at a meeting at National Culture Hall in Vientiane attended by the various media and printing organisations in Laos, to mark National Media and Printing Day, which falls on August 13.

In his speech which set the direction to improve and develop media and printing work, Prof. Dr Bosengkham called for greater efforts to improve the quality of the information delivered by media organisations in Laos.

“Media publications have been insufficiently informative and educated,” he told more than a hundred media and printing personnel and editors who participated at the meeting. The minister added that many media reports do not have effective teeth, calling for journalists and officials to strive harder to remedy this.

He valued the media publications which constructively criticise social issues affecting society, but suggested the board of editors pay more attention to deliver accurate reports after learning that in some cases editors failed to make proper checks, which resulted in inaccurate reports being published.

“We need to improve this matter,” said the minister, who is also the President of the Lao Journalist’s Association. He suggested media personnel report more about model individuals, including those succeeding in production on a commercial basis or running their own businesses.

The officials were asked to expand information coverage to rural communities in order to provide local people with better access to information.

The minister applauded the achievements the media and printing organisations have made over the past years, which have contributed significantly in disseminating the Party’s guidelines, policies, state laws and national socio-economic development plan, amongst many important events.

Because of this significant role, the Party has attached great importance on media and printing work, the minister stated.

In his remarks given prior to the minister’s speech, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism in charge of information affairs Savankhone Razmountry stressed the need for media and printing personnel to work harder, through their publications, to fully reflect the Party’s guidelines, state laws and the national socio-economic development plan.

Mr Savankhone, who is also Vice President of the Lao Journalist’s Association, stated that the publications have not fully exposed various issues of interest to people in remote communities.

“The reflection of issues has not been sufficiently accurate and in-depth. It has not covered all issues of social interest.”

In addition, the publications have not been diverse enough to attract particular groups of readers, he said, suggesting the publishers be more creative.

The deputy minister asked the relevant organisations to pay more attention to developing and training more staff, so that they can satisfy work requirements, especially in local communities.

Currently, there are 110 newspapers and magazines in Laos. This figure includes 9 daily newspapers, while the rest are magazines published in both Lao and foreign languages.

There are also 43 radio stations and 34 television stations in Laos.

Source: Vientiane Times