VOV, where national history is kept

(VOVWORLD) - September 7, 2020, marked 75 years that the Voice of Vietnam has accompanied the nation through difficult wars and the renewal process, during which VOV’s reporters, editors, and technicians have recorded the nation’s audio history.
VOV, where national history is kept  - ảnh 1A technician of VOV’s Program Production and Archive Center are maintaining recording equipment.

Until the late 1960s, VOV was the only information and entertainment channel for many Vietnamese people, especially those in remote areas. 

On New Year's Eves, millions of people eagerly waited to hear President Ho Chi Minh read poems on national radio. On quiet moonlit nights, people in a hamlet would gather around a radio to listen to VOV’s late programs.

Luong Xuan Bang of Kien Xuong district in Thai Binh province said his youth was closely linked to VOV broadcasts, “When I was a teenager, anyone who had a portable radio looked cool. We used to go to a neighbor's house to listen to radio programs."

"Then it became easier for everyone to own a radio. I was listening to the radio so often that I knew the name of every program and every radio host,” Bang said.

Recordings of historic broadcasts are carefully preserved at VOV, said Vice President Vu Hai Quang, adding, “The Voice of Vietnam is a media agency that has been accompanying the nation for 75 years through two wars, the renewal process, and now national construction and defense.”

“We are proud to have kept lots of extremely valuable documents, including President Ho Chi Minh reading the Declaration of Independence, the voice of legendary announcers like meritorious artist Kim Cuc who read the victory news on April 30, 1975, and announcer of the English Service Trinh Thi Ngo, an unforgettable radio presenter for generations of VOV listeners, including foreign friends and former GIs in Vietnam,” Quang said.  

During the wars, in addition to broadcasting without interruption, VOV technicians sought ways to preserve audio tapes. 

Nguyen Van Tu, former Deputy Head of the archive section, recalled, "I was told that during the American war VOV had to evacuate several times. Its technicians took important tapes and looked for safe places to store them. As an extra precaution, they made copies, brought the original tapes to evacuation areas, and left the copies in Hanoi."

In 2008, VOV completed the digitisation of 30,000 hours of analog audio content, with the help of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. 

Vu Quynh Hoa of the archive section said, “At first, nobody liked the job because it was boring. But we began to learn things and started to find it more interesting.” 

Nguyen Nang Khang, Deputy Director of the Program Production and Archive Center, said that now that VOV is a multimedia group, the center has been expanding its storage capacity for images, video, graphics, and text files as well as audio.

“Our archiving is, first, to catalog materials for the production of radio programs, and second, to preserve them as a national audio heritage. With the development of digital technology, we can now store audio materials in computing clouds and large repositories. We have archived videos and partnered with other agencies to store text files,” Khang said.