Mainstream News Agencies Learn about Safe Use of Social Media


With social media spreading quickly and unavoidably throughout society, mainstream media has learned about its impacts and how to promote its safe use, especially among young people.

UNICEF cooperated with the Mass Media Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to organise a social media training session in relation to children’s rights. The three-day seminar from October 25-27 took place at Thalath in Vientiane province.

More than 40 people from mainstream media agencies throughout the country gathered to arm themselves with knowledge about the new media and learn about its impacts.

Seminar participants learnt that young people are among the highest users of social media, especially Facebook. In 2015, the percentage of 13-19 year olds using Facebook was 28 percent of all users, with 20-29 year olds making up about 46 percent.

They also learnt about new media and its pros and cons, especially for young people. The training covered the Media Law, Cyber Crime Law and examples of using social media to promote mainstream media.

The session was conducted by the Mass Media Department, Lao Press in Foreign Languages, Lao Computer Emergency Response Team (Lao Cert) of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and UNICEF.

Following the seminar, participants visited schools and an IT centre in Vientiane province to find out how young people use social media. Many schoolchildren said they were using more social media, especially Facebook, WhatsApp, Line and others. However, they said they tried to use it in a positive way to help their education.

Ms Chindalath, a student at Phonemee Upper Secondary School in Vientiane province, said I know that social media has both advantages and disadvantages. I try to use it in a positive way to help my studies. It’s easy to become addicted so I try to schedule my time and not overuse it. Some people use it too much which impacts on their studies and causes other problems. I would like to encourage young people to use social media in the right way.


Source: Vientiane Times