Journalist training, week 2, day 1

Same basic schedule, new city. About 30 journalists here as well. We had some Internet connectivity problems, but people seemed to be very patient about that.

Two of the U.S. embassy employees told me their home costs for DSL Internet are very reasonable — between $3 and $7 per month. The price varies depending on the amount you download. Their daughters, age 9 and 10, like to surf the Web a lot. The next generation of Vietnam kids is wired and ready for action!

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Journalist training, Day 1

Today I had about 30 Vietnamese journalists in a training session at the Saigon Times building in Saigon. I had been told we would have an interpreter, but it turns out that everyone in the workshop has enough English language fluency — so no interpreter. It’s a good thing I always prepare too much material, as speaking through an interpreter takes twice as long.

Session 1 was an overview of trends in online journalism in the West — cleaner and less cluttered site design, multimedia, journalist blogs, and “beyond HTML” (that means RSS, Twitter, Facebook, mobile, etc.).

Session 2 was all about journalist blogs — subject matter, writing style, linking, and so on.

Then, after lunch, everyone made a WordPress.com blog (like this one!). A lot of people here have blogs, and the newspapers are starting to offer them too, but WordPress is unfamiliar. People’s personal blogs are often on Yahoo 360 (too much like MySpace for my taste, but perfectly okay for personal stuff).