The press, a sharp revolutionary weapon: President Ho Chi Minh
Hanoi (VNA) – President Ho Chi Minh – the great leader of the nation – is the founder of the Vietnam revolutionary press, and the teacher of generations of Vietnamese revolutionary journalists.
In 1921, the late leader founded and worked as the editor-in-chief of the “Le Paria” newspaper in France, which was the voice of the Alliance of Colonial Nations. He wrote 38 articles for the paper.
In 1925, he formed the “Thanh Nien” (Youth) newspaper, which printed the first edition on June 21, 1925, and led the journal through 88 editions.
In 1941, he set up the journal “Vietnam doc lap” (Independent Vietnam), the first revolutionary newspaper formed inside the country, and directed the publishing of the newspaper through 36 editions.
From his first article in 1919 to the last one published in 1969, the President had 50 years of writing with about 2,000 articles, 1,524 of which were published under 53 different pseudonyms.
The late leader showed a special interest in the “Nhan dan” (People) newspaper to which he contributed 1,205 articles.
He creatively applied Marxism and Leninism into the Vietnamese revolution in all aspects, including journalism activities.
With his talent and deep understanding of journalism, President Ho Chi Minh considered the press a sharp weapon and used the press for revolution communications and to encourage people’s involvement in the revolution.
In his letter, sent to members of the first press course, he underlined that in order to write press articles, it is necessary to be close to the people, know at least one foreign language, carefully review one’s own stories, and stay progressive.
In his speech delivered at the third congress of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association on September 8, 1962, he shared that “This is my experience. Whenever I write a story, I questioned myself: Who did I write for? What did I write for? How do I get the public to understand and to make the story short and simple? When I finished my stories, I had my colleagues read and edit them for me.”
He defined that:
“1 – What to write about? We write about the good deeds of the people, soldiers, and friends, and to criticise shortcomings of us, our officials, people and soldiers.
2 – Who to write for? For workers, farmers, and soldiers, and for people from all walks of life regardless of their age, religion and party.
3 – What to write for? For communicating, for enlightening, uniting and awaking the public.
4 – How to write? Make the stories short, clear, coherent, and informative.”
Targeting the majority of the people, President Ho Chi Minh always reminded himself to make his article understandable for all people.
In his talks to reporters at the third congress of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association in 1962, he pointed out that: “The articles are often too long, which is not suitable to the level of knowledge and time of the public.”
At the second congress of the association on April 16, 1959, he said that “all journalists (all who are involved in the writing, printing, editing and publishing process) must maintain a firm political stance. Politics must play the key role. Proper political orientations will ensure that other activities are proper. Therefore, our press must follow the right political orientations.”
He underscored that “Journalists are revolution fighters. Pens and papers are their weapons.”
Along with good political orientations, he also reminded journalists to enhance the quality of their products.
“It is necessary to focus on political studying to firmly understand policies. But we should better our ideology, professional skills and culture, while becoming closer to reality and the public.” (Complete Works of Ho Chi Minh, Vol. 10, Page 616, National Publishing House, 1995).
On January 8, 1946, the leader told communications officials: “During the communications, you should keep in mind that people always respect the truth. Only by telling the truth, can we get people to listen to us. We should not follow the countries that report war news totally different from the truth.”
The truth is considered the ethics of revolutionary journalists. Therefore, Vietnamese revolutionary press is the voice of the Party and the forum of the people. The press reports constructive opinions of the people, showing their aspirations and suggestions to the national construction.
At the same time, the press has resolutely fought corruption and smuggling, combating crimes and social evils as well as signs of degradation in personality, morality and lifestyle. The press has won the public’s trust in the leadership of the Party and traditional humanitarian and revolution.
President Ho Chi Minh held that “Our press has an important position in the world’s opinion. Both enemies and friends are interested in our press. Therefore, we should be careful about the form, contents and methods of writing,”
His opinions are still valuable in the current period despite the development of means of the mass media.
The leader’s thoughts have been inherited by the Party, particularly manifested in the Resolution of the 8th Party Central Committee’s fifth plenum: “Building the national communication strategy in line with the country’s characteristics and the global mass media trends. Making full use of the achievements of the Internet revolution to introduce the renewal cause and culture of Vietnam to the world, while applying measures to prevent and minimise the negative impacts of the Internet and other means of mass media.”
President Ho Chi Minh also highlighted the need to enhance the quality of the press. The quality in his idea also covers the arrangement and format of articles.
For President Ho Chi Minh, the press is a weapon of the revolution. His teachings to journalists are precious, which have been transferred from generations to generations of journalists./.