This post is also available in: Vietnamese
Two days ago the British Embassy tried something we had never done before, when I chaired a Facebook discussion on the safety of Journalists.
It generated a lot of interest and many thought-provoking comments. Those who commented did so in a constructive and positive spirit, and made this a fascinating experience for me. I have to admit that there were many more questions than answers.
I know that not everyone would have felt comfortable taking part. But I was pleased that the Embassy was able to do this. Even ten years ago we could not have had a discussion like that in Vietnam, or anywhere: Facebook did not exist.
The transformation of the way news is told across the world is proving a powerful opportunity for business, universities, civil society, individual citizens, and governments too. A free flow of ideas, if enabled, can enhance a country’s prosperity, stability and prestige.
I pay tribute once more to all the fine Vietnamese media professionals in journalism and in government on Vietnam Revolutionary Journalism Day. I am proud that Britain continues to support Vietnam’s efforts to create a more open and safe working environment for the media, and I am grateful to all our partners, notably to the Ministry of Information and Communications, for their work with us. Thanks also to BBC Vietnamese for linking to our discussion.
I hope we will be able to have more online discussions with you all through social media. Please look out for that.