YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Let’s face it; as someone who falls in the 13-25 age range, some of the only ways I stay informed about world events is through the Facebook trending tags and reblogs on Tumblr. A Vietnamese news venue has taken notice and approached the problem with a hip new solution.
Vietnam Plus has been broadcasting via Youtube a bi-weekly news program called Rap News Plus where the news is rapped to a beat. The bite-sized videos are all in Vietnamese with the lyrics in the description and average around 200,000 views for their more popular videos. The channel is still fresh as it uploaded their first bulletin in February, but the unique approach has been noticed by The Guardian. They note that the largest demographic of media consumers in Vietnam are aged between 13 and 25 and Vietnam has the second largest video consumption market in South East Asia. Not only is Rap News Plus doing something fun and innovative, it’s paying attention to their consumers.
We all know about Vietnam’s censorship tendencies and Vietnam Plus still falls on the spectrum of being a state controlled venue, but that shouldn’t stop other news venues from pursuing innovative projects. Vietnam Plus editor Le Quoc Minh told The Guardian “We think music is the best way to communicate our message [with younger people and that] if we give them something interesting then maybe they will like it.”
It’s true that less young people are sitting down and watching the 5 o’clock news or—god forbid—reading the newspaper. In a multimedia world where many have a smartphone and a social media account, keeping informed is quite different compared to a decade ago. By using a platform that younger people actually use and combining the news with the upbeat tunes of hip hop, Vietnam Plus might have broken the code.
As good as this sounds, the verbal content of the raps must avoid sensitive political issues like poison. While it is popular with a younger crowd, the broadcast must adhere to the strict censorship and is mostly disliked by the older generations. Still, Rap News Plus is a step in the right direction despite its fresh start. It caters to how some people would like to stay informed.
How would you like to be informed? Let us know in the comments below!