The story that I heard on NPR yesterday afternoon:

In Vietnam, Press Freedom Stifled

(You can read the transcript or listen to the streaming audio).

And here’s the letter I sent NPR this morning:

I am usually impressed with NPR’s balanced coverage of world news, but I have to notify you of my disappointment with Michael Sullivan’s story concerning press freedom in Vietnam that aired on Wednesday, August 20.

Sullivan has obviously had limited exposure to Vietnamese culture although he is based in the capitol. This is obvious because of his inability to pronounce proper names of Vietnamese people and the most influential newspapers in the nation. Also, the supposed “expert” that Sullivan interviewed for his story is with the Australian Defense Force Academy. How is the Australian military even related to freedom of the press in Vietnam?

Sullivan’s story is typical Western journalism trying to sensationalize a story about a nation and culture that he obviously knows little about and cannot begin to understand. There were no quotes or statements from either “Thanh Nien” or “Tuoi Tre,” and the general tone of the story was slanted negatively against the Vietnamese government.

I request that you not air further stories from Sullivan concerning Vietnam unless he improves his basic journalism skills and is able to file a non-biased and/or balanced report.

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