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Rapping the News in Vietnam

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Rapping the News in Vietnam

The Vietnam News Agency stole the show as one of the most bizarre and wonderful moments of the 2014 DMA Conference.

Rap News, VNA’s new project to engage viewers, is exactly what it says in the title. Two newsreaders, dressed in full-suits and ties, sit behind a desk rapping the stories in the news to camera.

“When people tell me they don’t like it, I say to them ‘Our target audience is your daughters, or your sons. And if you don’t like it, I don’t care,’” says Le Quoc Minh, the Vietnam News Agency’s Editor in Chief.

Rap News origins stem from Vietnamese youthes the lack of interest have in current affairs. “I think people were surprised that such as serious organisation like the Vietnam News Agency could do something like Rap News,” says Minh. “But we have a really big population; over over 90 million, 30% of which are under 30. But young [Vietnamese] people don’t like reading hard news. Our main news site is really boring for young kids, and our main audience is still over 30.

“So we thought news combined with music would be really interesting.” Hence, Rap News was born.

But it is not just a novelty. “We want Rap News to be serious, covering serious news. But we also want it to be fun, otherwise young people will just turn away,” says Minh.

Each segment is professionally made, with producers, sound engineers and musicians are involved in a Rap News production.

While there are countless nay-sayers of the project, it’s worth keeping in mind two things: the viewing figures Rap News is getting, and that it is already proving popular with Vietnamese youth, as Minh has observed: “People have come to me and said ‘I didn’t know about [Edward] Snowden, but now I know who he is.’ The first clip was delivered on November 12 [2014]. In the first 24 hours, we got 500,00 views. Within 48 hours, we had 1-million views.”

See video


Calum Stuart


2014-11-19 10:09

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