Laos vows to improve media to uphold citizens’ right to accurate information


summit

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism will continue to improve Laos’ media operations to ensure that every citizen’s right to access information is fulfilled, especially in the midst of the rapid growth of information technology.

To this end, the government, through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, has instructed all state and private media outlets to transform their traditional way of delivering news using a variety of platforms to reach all target audiences, in both urban and rural areas.

Speaking at the 17th Virtual Asia Media Summit on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mr Ounthuang Khaophanh, said “I would like to commend the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for the excellent arrangements made for this meaningful summit, convened today under the theme ‘Future Forward-Reimagining Media’.

“As we are all aware, the digital age in our world today causes impacts on all aspects of society including politics, economics, and the socio-cultural development of all countries.

“We also have to face a lot of problems due to fake news, misinformation, and disinformation, which creates misunderstanding and disorder in society, affecting development and social security.

“Consequently, it is now very important to be more cautious and conscious with regard to the consumption of information.

“This not only affects the political, economic and socio-cultural development of Laos, but is also a global challenge.

“Laos has passed the Law on Anti-cybercrime, the Media Law, and a Prime Ministerial Decree on the management of information circulation on the Internet, and set up the Lao Computer Emergency Respones Team to address these issues.

“Therefore, I would like to reiterate that we, Information and Media Ministers, should stay committed to enhancing cooperation so that we can maintain peace and security as well as establish concrete collaboration and greater resilience against all forms of cyber and information threats and terrorism that may arise in the region.

“I firmly believe that through constructive and cordial discussions during this significant meeting, any future possible directions and cooperation frameworks, including expanding cooperation in new media development and actively carrying out training for professional lines, shall be progressively implemented.

“This is aimed at narrowing the gaps among nations in our region in the area of media development.”

The 17th Virtual Asia Media Summit provided a unique opportunity for broadcasters in the region to share their thoughts on broadcasting and information.

Decision-makers, media professionals, scholars, and stakeholders of news and programming from the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America attended the annual conference.

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