Source: Vientiane Times
Lao media outlets have been told to improve their content in response to the needs of target audiences while diversifying their revenue streams to sustain their operations amid challenges.
“The rapid growth of social media has impacted the growth of mainstream media in Laos, resulting in the sharp decline of their revenues,” the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mr. Phosy Keomanyvong, told a media forum in Vientiane on Thursday.
The forum was held as part of activities to mark the 73rd anniversary of Mass Media and Publishing Day (August 13, 1950 – August 13, 2023). More than 200 journalists, editors, and other media personnel of public and private media organizations from across the country attended the forum either in-person or by videoconference.
Mr.Phosy said content is the key for media to attract large audiences, subscribers, and advertisements and thereby contribute to boosting their incomes.
The deputy minister acknowledged that producing a high-quality story is linked to capable journalists and their income, as well as other incentives provided to them.
Mr. Phosy said it is critical for journalists to improve their professionalism through training to improve the quality of content and to develop a variety of products to meet the needs of the public.
He pledged to help state-owned media in addressing public financial mechanisms and management that hinder media operations and progress.
The Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Daovone Phachanthavong, called on the government to improve financial mechanisms for state-run media and create favorable conditions for the media to generate income to sustain their operations.
He said creating incentives for journalists is essential because it will be hard for them to produce high-quality stories if they do not earn enough income.
Mr. Daovone viewed media as important for the growth of businesses as journalists help private companies a lot in communicating with their clients. He pledged to support Lao media further to boost their income and overcome challenges.
The former Lao ambassador to France, Mr. Yong Chanthalangsy, urged Lao media to raise awareness and encourage youngsters to strengthen their unity and protect the nation’s interests.
He referred to Lao history and explained the reasons why Laos was colonized by other countries. One of the main reasons was a lack of solidarity, he said.
Critics say one of the main challenges for state-run media is that they are slow to adapt to changes when compared to corporate management. Some media outlets lack clear business plans and a content strategy to increase readership and income streams for their organizations.