VOV’s national press award winners

(VOVworld) – Reporters from the Voice of Vietnam’s central region bureau won the top national press award in 2012 and 2013. Their entry last year examined loopholes in water resources management in the central region. Hoa Ha profiles reporters Le Hai Son and Phan Thanh Ha:

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Reporter Hai Son on a trip to Hoang Sa

Son was VOV’s football commentator for many World Cups. Since China’s illegal placement of an oilrig in Vietnamese waters, Son has accompanied fishing vessels to record images of Chinese ships ramming Vietnamese vessels near the Hoang Sa archipelago. Son said he is impressed with the courage of the fishermen and law enforcement forces who are defending Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty: “I was on board a fishing vessel near Hoang Sa and saw a number of Vietnamese vessels from the central region being rammed by Chinese boats. Chinese ships disguised as fishing boats were very aggressive and large. We were panicked and screamed partly because we were worried about the lives of the fishermen. My voice was emotional and choked.”

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It was a memorable trip for Son on which he had to carry many recording devices but there was no Internet for him to send his stories home. Upon disembarkation, stories by Son and his colleagues Vinh Thong and Dinh Thieu immediately appeared on all of VOV’s channels: radio, online, TV, and print.

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Ha is one the recipients of the top award of the 2013 national press award. He talks about the social impact of his investigative series on loopholes in water resources management in the central region: “There has been a struggle for water resources between hydro-power plants and local people and between provinces in the central region, particularly in the dry season. We found out that people were the main cause of water shortages.”

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Reporter Thanh Ha interviewing an ethnic minority girl

The reporters, both in their 40s, are enthusiastic about covering developments in the central region, helping domestic and foreign listeners understand more about this land and its people. Journalist Minh Hoa has been their colleague for 15 years: “Son and Ha have a keen sense of responsibility. Son was the first reporter to travel to Hoang Sa on a fishing boat to report on China’s unauthorized placement of oilrig Haiyang 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. He has written many articles with accompanying photos and clips to show the public the truth. Ha and his wife work together and they go on field trips very often during the flood and storm season. They have to send their children to their parents’ home and sometimes he forgets to pick them up.”