Despite its small size, VOA’s Vietnamese Service packs a big punch.
The service’s website reached 2.2 million people in October. That’s 16 percent of Voice of America’s total online traffic, and an impressive feat for a staff of only 14 people who produce all of the service’s radio, television and multi-media content.
“We have a very dedicated team, working almost around the clock to bring world news to Vietnam,” says Service Chief Judy Nguyen.
The Vietnamese website ranks second only to VOA English News, out of more than 40 language services at Voice of America. The success illustrates the effectiveness of new media strategies to deliver relevant, comprehensive global news to the audience.
“We have had to think outside the box and adapt to new technology…we do this all with an open mind,” says Web Editor Stephanie Tu.
The service created its website in 2002 and subsequently broadened its online presence. It maintains Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube accounts, and produces podcasts and five popular blogs focusing on politics, education, world travel, literature and poetry.
The service attributes its success to the quality of its content and targeting strategies, such as using key words that will be picked up by search engines. The writers and editors also place emphasis on cross-promoting their content and embedding video, audio and pictures in their news stories.
Even with all of these measures, Tu stresses, “on the web, content is still king.”
In a country where the media often focuses on domestic and entertainment news, many Vietnamese still rely on VOA for accurate and objective world news reporting.