December. End of the year and the coming of another. Our December event was our 12th event, a milestone that pessimists doomed too far away to reach, while optimists can easily count beyond that. However, a break was needed as January was more or less a Tet celebration and "Tetlag" surfaced once January drew to an end.
While we all await the next announcement, we can start the first post of the Lunar New Year with our summary from December.
December was the month where we got a glimpse behind the printed page and a broader view of the publishing industry in Vietnam.
Print is very much alive and the sheer number of magazines in circulation in Vietnam is proof enough. Nick Ross at The Word magazine gave us a thorough walkthrough.
We have all heard of "Freedom of the press", but what was interesting was when you start asking the question of freedom versus corporate interests. Having guidelines of what you can do and not do versus a board of directors wanting profit and thus seeking more sensational stories. A coin still has two sides. Another interesting
part was "The Cult of Beauty" and how Vietnam has projected itself as a beautiful country, including the tourism slogan "Vietnam – The hidden charm". This is what in the past was acceptable to write about this country.
However, over the past few years, some Vietnamese newspapers have pushed the frontiers and other "hidden charms" are now surfacing on both their Vietnamese and English language online editions. Restrictions leads to creativeness, or as in a creative brief, the more constraints, the easier is the process to find a solution that works within those parameters. In addition, the Vietnamese language is a very rich language and open to a wide range of interpretations and you will have readers reading between the lines.
So restrictions, creativeness and competition for readers bring you the need to improve. Survival of the fittest and much, much more.
As always, be there and get it first hand, direct from the source. Hope to see you all at the next Saigon Creative event!
|The Cult of Beauty|
|"You can cage the singer, but not the song"|
|Striving for excellence|
|Xmas tree, Vietnamese style|