Covering Water Infrastructure: Laos

A members of the VOA Lao Service participated as trainer in the workshop called Building Capacity in Public Participation, Collaboration and Conflict Transformation in Vientiane, Laos, Oct. 18-21, 2016. He joined instructors from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Institute of Water Resources (IWR) who organized and managed this project.

The objective of the workshop was to enable 24 participants from several Lao government agencies, including the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Department of Public Relations, the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Lao National Radio and key media outlets to better understand hydro-power so as to inform the public more effectively.

The workshop focused on enhancing communication skills in order to increase transparency and operations of hydro-power projects within Laos. The training also aimed to increase understanding and cooperation between representatives of the media, government agencies and public organizations.

VOA’s trainer addressed the need for fair, balanced and substantiated news to inform the public. He explained that all journalists must follow the same ethical standards and strive to “minimize harm.” He also talked about VOA’s Code of Journalistic Ethics, and showed examples of content produced by VOA broadcasters and published on the VOA Lao website. Mr. Saychareunsouk engaged the training participants in a lively discussion and answered their questions about the agency.