On September 21, leading journalists from the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam participated in the third American Cancer Society advanced training for the Vietnamese media. This event was sponsored, in part, by Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Tobacco control experts from the Ho Chi Minh Health Services Department and VINACOSH, a Vietnamese tobacco control nongovernmental organization, spoke about the difficulties of implementing the bans on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and the need for journalists to take a greater stance on implementing the law. Charles Smith, an attorney and board member for the California Division of the American Cancer Society, spoke about his work on implementing tobacco control laws in the United States and the important role journalists play in keeping tobacco companies accountable.
During the training, the journalists visited various public areas in Vietnam (i.e. restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, etc.) and interviewed people regarding their awareness of the bans on tobacco advertisements and sponsorship. These journalists were then encouraged to use this information to develop articles for publication to their press outlets.
ACS Vietnam Manager Tuyet Ha-Iaconis and her team have been providing hands-on training and feedback to Vietnamese journalists for over a year to help develop their skills and provide them with international opportunities to expand their knowledge base. During this fellowship, ACS selected three outstanding journalists to attend the Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health (APACT) Conference in Sydney, Australia.
To learn more about these journalists and their work, please visit the Vietnam Fellowship Blog site (blog is in the Vietnamese language): http://vnmediaantismoking.blogspot.com/