Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
After many years of investing and studying key news on sensitive information release in various developing countries in Vietnam and Asia, in this article we try to categorize the news that may be censored, the news that will remain within Vietnam and the more important ones with serious consequences internationally that will be making the headlines of International news agencies.
In all countries there is a Level 0 (we’ll call it L#0) of information that is classified for political or strategic national interest. We will not go into this too deeply because the outcome is too random and moving.
Let’s just define what is a L#0 sensitive affair for which news is kept opaque or censored during and after the facts. It short, it involves:
- 1 key national person (and ‘his team’) in politics of business
- 1 national unsettling political, diplomatic or economical wrongdoing with potential impact on the country people and stability
- 1 urgency to extinguish (or not) the ‘fire’ before it takes nationwide discontent proportion
Level #0: politically, strategically and internationally sensitive under negotiation before release of official news version
In all countries there is a Level 0 (we’ll call it L#0) of information that is classified for political or strategic national interest. In Vietnam as a unique party with various power forces, there is an additional layer of reputation and party image with smooth transitions to preserve the public inland and abroad. During those internal transactions to decide who stays and who is axed the information tap is closed or leaks on ‘pressure need’ base. Inside Vietnam then eventually foreigners get some information.
At L#0, news release is negotiable, the terms of the deal outcome is a masterful cocktail of 4 ingredients:
- A few strong individual political allies
- Financial funds backup
- The national political support (the assembly or the people)
- The rationality of nation’s growth and stability
Based on the personality and case targeted, you can better position yourself in the food chain of information before writing any prospective essay on the unfolding of any sensitive news from Vietnam or other developing countries.
4 levels of news release managed in Vietnam on sensitive affairs.
VN INFORMATION RELEASE ‘FOOD CHAIN’: When and what information do you get?’
Other factors for the boom needs for foreigner jobs in Vietnam
- The Myanmar coup, annihilated 7 years of opening since 2015 Aung San Suu Kyi, pushing investors out to Vietnam for some
- World developed economies, led by the USA anti-China, looking to diversify or counter power with factories in Vietnam
- China’s expansionist policy accelerated the anti-China move to Vietnam by big manufacturing powerhouse countries like Japan, Korea or Taiwan.
- The legendary flexibility and adaptability of the workforce to high quality and smaller orders
- A non-muslim country ranked highly appreciated for security, expat friendly and ‘dolce vita’ for cheap.
What is the best way to analyze Vietnam sensitive news and information in the press?
Vietnam is one of the last existing communist countries in the world. As it is fast and steadily growing, a lot of press releases and information are published. Screening and interpretation is subject to some experience in selecting propaganda from real applicable policies in the coming future for decision makers, business managers and investors.
CONFUSION stage News: The local social media buzz post in Vietnamese
At first, there is a blip news from unofficial public ‘uncontrolled’ channel: facebook, tiktok or youtube video, that looks like a local buzz, but usually a real source of information but not massive.
As a Vietnamese, you may witness an unusual (potentially serious nationwide) news like the arrest of a high profile neighbor, his family, an accident or some office closure near you, nowadays you take pictures, short movies and you post!
As you are a victim of an unfair ruling, a scandalous act of corruption, land repossession or à penalty on your health or assets, again you post trying to shout loud in your limited family and friends social network audience.
At this stage I call it the CONFUSION Stage, as it comes as short video or posts where some Vietnamese victim, usually angry, or a witness of an unusual event like an arrest or an office raid/closure at a high ranked political, a business person, a celebrity or family member.
Then sometimes it is amplified with shares, comments and likes. Then you may find out you are not alone, with more like you, in a western countries 20+ victims.
Level #1: a Vietnamese posts on social media information as a victim or a witness
Out of anger a victim or passer-by will post in social networks an event that looks like a buzz, a one-off minor disagreement that is not documented as the origin of the post is à non-professional journalist. At times, when more people are in-the-know or relay as another victim or witness, it will be shared and amplified.
Level#2 of information: 1 newspaper publish 1 scoop article for Vietnam readers
Sometimes the posts even make it ‘accidentally’ to a mainstream official newspaper or e-news, inadvertently published by a ‘rookie’ journalist in search of a scoop, regardless of official news control protocol.
This is usually at that time, the person concerned and the officials turn off the tap of information, or not depending on internal political negotiations about how sensitive and destabilizing to the personality, his economic and political team and the authorities
NEWS CONFIRMATION: The multi FEED posts in Vietnamese
When the news is too big to be hidden, one official article is drafted and published in the Vietnamese papers & e-news -the same content is relayed by other newspapers-. The End!
Whether the post was a fake, the author ‘made a mistake’, was offered an incentive to buy back his article or someone of power ‘made him an offer he could not refuse’ -in the parlance of Don Corleone-, remains a question. Silence is golden.
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Level#3 of information: more Vietnam news published on developments
Or depending, on the extent of the case, nationwide or multiple stakeholders, a few more articles will be published then faded away as L0 tractations sealed and silent the case
Level#4: 1 official press release is sent to Foreign speaking newspapers in Vietnam.
Of course at this stage, an official press release was published in the English speaking press and read by Expats and in-the-known foreigners invested in Vietnam. The article will generally hint, more or less formally, as a case closed or to expect some further development.
NEWS ADMISSION: The 1 world press release to Reuters/AFP etc…
OK, Ok, we admit there has been a problem and we disclose the press release in all transparency. It was too big internally not to mention and perhaps diplomatic and economic relationships in wider Asean, regional or worldwide impact is already felt anyway.
L#5: 1 release of official news to world Press agencies abroad covering Vietnam
The next guest invited to publish are foreign international press like Reuters or the AFP, admitting there has been something with some serious consequences. Here is the press release, we deal with it and everything is under control.
L#6: more release to clarify or to justify future decision to international standards
When the personality is known worldwide or the case has international reach and internal negotiations were not fruitful to come to an agreement to save his case. By that time internal dealing at L0 -count over a few months-, the verdict has fallen.
NEWS PUNITION: Vietnam feeds Press news to FB public interpretation
It is a time where press releases are in Vietnamese and English more frequently.
L#7: more feeds on the development to hint to the punishment
This is where the terms ‘under investigation’ and ‘causing serious consequences’ may appear. Names are dropped of the team of culprits and their network of people, companies or government bodies.
It is then you know the person under investigation has not been persuasive enough -with political allies and financially- to ensure its safe and free future.
L#8: unleashed information on social media to allow all misinterpretation as the final judgment was under way as early as L#3 already
When it goes mainstream, because of the amounts involved and the personalities in the ring of culprits; the facebookers are unleashed, the fantasy will transform the news in something more or less undocumented, unreal and monstruous. Welcome to the Social media world of urban myth!
Conclusion: ‘pas de fumee sans feu’ but fire can be put out before anyone notices… and slightly after too.
In the meantime, political powers and money negotiate the best outcome. If not enough power or liquidity, the fire becomes wild when it takes outside of Vietnam firewalls and when it reaches the social media hordes, it becomes incredibly monstrous, fake or a virtual reality!