The major topic of discussion on radio on Tuesday revolved around the high school entrance exam.
Despite my efforts to stay away from work-related thoughts during this trip, Tuesday had a touch of work mode for me as Andrea arranged a visit to Voice of Vietnam in Saigon.
One of my resolutions for this trip was to avoid thinking about work, and removing Outlook and Teams from my phone proved helpful. However, I couldn’t help but enjoy getting back into work mode.
Voice of Vietnam is the national broadcaster, although it differs from the ABC in terms of government oversight. We learned that in the one-party state, individuals need a license to discuss politics openly.
While the station we visited does feature some political programs, the format primarily consists of traffic updates, music, and a daily hot topic.
During the visit, we were accompanied by well-known presenters and the chief technician. They were generous with their time and treated us to lunch at the staff cafe.
All three of them had started their careers in television but had developed a love for radio, much like us. Chao, the only English speaker among them, hosts the evening show, which he described as more focused on light entertainment.
Many aspects of broadcasting were similar to what we were accustomed to, such as producers using chat screens. The only significant difference was the presence of a separate technical producer.
We learned that there are numerous accidents in the outlying areas, especially late at night when people have consumed alcohol.
We engaged in insightful discussions about the similarities and differences in radio broadcasting. For instance, we explored how education stories are tailored for younger and older audiences.
Unlike our cluttered studios with abandoned coffee cups and pieces of paper, their studios were much tidier. I particularly appreciated their policy of taking off shoes inside.
Furthermore, we learned radio presenters were referred to as MCs. I might adopt that, returning home.
We had enlightening discussions about the impact of Covid on how radio stations worked. In Australia, many people worked from home, but there, they worked from the office, roamed the streets, and even worked in hospitals.