Teaching the teaching role of journalism to students in Vietnam
Every country’s government employs propaganda to certain degrees and, in the United States; it is ideally the responsibility of the free press to sift through sources of information to present the purest possible narrative on a given topic.
But in Vietnamwhere the state monitors the mediait is more challenging for citizens to acquire a rounded perspective on any course of events portrayed in the news.
Enter Huyen Nguyen, a scholar of media economics and teacher at heart, whose workshop in News Literacy was lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review in an article titled, "How to teach news literacy when the government is watching.."
Nguyen graduated with a degree in Journalism in 2006, and went on to work briefly with a Vietnamese teen magazine, before settling into a teaching position at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
"I learned a lot from teaching," she said. "I also managed the library and read books on media studies. I know very well how Western journalism is."
Since receiving a Fulbright Scholarship in 2010 to pursue a Master’s degree here at Scripps, Nguyen has thoroughly explored the realm of Media Economics under the tutelage of Associate Professor Hugh Martin, who chaired her Master’s committee, and is currently acting as her doctoral advisor.
"She’s very prolific for a doctoral student," Prof. Martin said. In addition to work on Media literacy, Nguyen recently published an article titled Media Mergers and Acquisitions: (M&A) Strategy and the Financial Health of Internet Media Firms.
Her workshop in Media Literacy is her own venture, however, and she has invested a great deal of herself in making sure the project continues to work as planned despite setbacks from the Vietnamese government.
The article from the Columbia Journalism Review describes the difficulties in detail: "Three days before a news literacy workshop she planned to hold this past summer at a university in Da Nang City, [she] received a phone call from her colleague. The workshop, she was told, was cancelled."
Still, her success throughout her four years at Scripps is as promising as the remarkable rate of her development as a teacher, student, and scholar. It was not long ago that she was unaware of the differences between propaganda and journalism.
She is now doing everything in her power to ensure that others’ eyes are opened.