Logo PTI Logo icrmat

Proceedings of the 2022 International Conference on Research in Management & Technovation

Annals of Computer Science and Information Systems, Volume 34

News coverage of genetically modified organism in Vietnam1

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15439/2022M4769

Citation: Proceedings of the 2022 International Conference on Research in Management & Technovation, Viet Ha Hoang, Vijender Kumar Solanki, Nguyen Thi Hong Nga, Shivani Agarwal (eds). ACSIS, Vol. 34, pages 237245 ()

Full text

Abstract. As developing countries are often science receivers, they are more vulnerable to potential threats of science innovations primarily produced in Western countries. It is, therefore, vital for media in the Global South to inform and prepare their citizens and policy makers in making rational decisions about new science developments, especially contested issues. Yet, news coverage of global science controversies -- e.g. genetic modification, nanotechnology, stem cell, human cloning, artificial intelligence -- have often been found to be weak and problematic in developing regions. Based on a content analysis of Vietnamese news about genetically modified organism (GMO), one of the scientific controversies with huge implications for sustainable development in the developing countries, this paper finds that that such reporting tends to be modest and superficial. It seldom provides thematic and detailed analysis of GMO risks and benefits with a strong evaluative and analytical dimension. Further, GMO events and issues are often positively framed with a benefit favour in accordance with the government's pro-GMO stance. For science journalism to reach it profession, a professional attitude should be encouraged in tandem with a strong support from the newsroom managers, scientific community, and policy makers. Training is further necessary for journalists to overcome challenges and obstacles to improve the quality of news about GMO and science in Vietnam


  1. O. E. Okafor and P. I. Okafor, “Membership of cooperative society and adoption of agricultural technology in Awka North LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria.,” J. Agric. Biodivers. Res., vol. 6, pp. 1–11, 2017.
  2. Pew Research Centre, “Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society,” US, 2015.
  3. C. Funk, A. Tyson, B. Kennedy, C. Johnson, and S. Research, “Biotechnology Research Viewed With Caution Globally, but Most Support Gene Editing for Babies To Treat Disease,” 2020.
  4. Y. Ruan, J. Yang, and J. Jin, “One issue, different stories: The construction of GMO issues on Chinese, American and British mainstream media portals,” Cult. Sci., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 255–275, Dec. 2019.
  5. I. Sheldon, “Regulation of biotechnology: Will we ever ‘freely’ trade GMOs?,” Eur. Rev. Agric. Econ., vol. 29, pp. 155–176, Mar. 2002.
  6. D. A. Scheufele and D. Tewksbury, “Framing, Agenda Setting, and Priming: The Evolution of Three Media Effects Models,” J. Commun., vol. 57, pp. 9–20, 2007.
  7. L. Rodriguez and S. Lee, “What Can Be Gleaned From News Coverage to Improve Science Reporting and Enhance Public Literacy About Agricultural Biotechnology in Ghana?,” J. Agric. Food Inf., vol. 17, no. 2–3, pp. 91–109, Jul. 2016.
  8. J. Durant, M. W. Bauer, and G. Gaskell, Biotechnology in the public sphere: A European Sourcebook. London: Science Museum, 1998.
  9. M. Bauer and G. Gaskell, Biotechnology: The Making of a Global Controversy, 1st ed. Cambridge University Press - The Science Museum, London, 2002.
  10. M. Kohring and J. Matthes, “The face(t)s of biotech in the nineties: how the German press framed modern biotechnology,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 11, pp. 143–154, May 2002.
  11. O. Kehagia and P. Chrysochou, “The reporting of food hazards by the media: The case of Greece,” Soc. Sci. J., vol. 44, pp. 721–733, Dec. 2007.
  12. G. Cook, P. T. Robbins, and E. Pieri, “Words of Mass Destruction: British Newspaper Coverage of the Genetically Modified Food Debate, Expert and Non-expert Reactions,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 15, pp. 5–19, 2006.
  13. L. Marks, N. Kalaitzandonakes, L. Wilkins, and L. Zakharova, “Mass media framing of biotechnology news,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 16, pp. 183–203, Apr. 2007.
  14. C. Crawley, “Localized Debates of Agricultural Biotechnology in Community Newspapers: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Media Frames and Sources,” Sci. Commun., vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 314–346, Mar. 2007.
  15. M. Augoustinos, S. Crabb, and R. Shepherd, “Genetically modified food in the news: Media representations of the GM debate in the UK,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 19, pp. 98–114, Jan. 2010.
  16. M. Chong, J. Shanahan, D. Brossard, and N. Ngo, “Elite Asian Newspaper Coverage of Agricultural Biotechnology,” in International Communication Association Conference, 2004.
  17. S. M. Outram, “Science communication in Sub-Saharan Africa; The case of GMOs,” J. Int. Dev., vol. 22, pp. 341–352, 2010.
  18. L. Du and C. Rachul, “Chinese newspaper coverage of genetically modified organisms,” BMC Public Health, vol. 12, no. 236, 2012.
  19. M. Karembu et al., “Dimensions of Radio Coverage and Content Generation of Agricultural Biotechnology News in Kenya,” 2011. [Online]. Available: https://idl-bnc-idrc.dspacedirect.org/bitstream/handle/10625/47085/133460.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
  20. T. A. Lore, “An analysis of the coverage of genetically modified crops by mainstream Kenyan print media: the case of the Daily Nation, the standard and Taifa Leo, 2007-2009,” University of Nairobi, Kenya, 2011.
  21. C. Omeje, “Media coverage and framing of genetically modified crops: A case study of science journalism in Nigeria,” Stellenbosch University, 2019.
  22. C. M. Ligami, “Print Media Coverage of the Ban on Importation of Genetically Modified Foods in Kenya: a Content Analysis of Daily Nation and the East African,” University of Nairobi, 2016.
  23. R. Olajide and P. Fawole, “Coverage and content analysis of biotechnology and genetically modified organisms in four selected Nigerian daily newspapers,” Trop. Agric. Res. Ext., vol. 16, p. 81, Jul. 2015.
  24. B. Fackson, “Can beggars be choosers?,” Panos London, 2002. [Online]. Available: http://panoslondon.panosnetwork.org/features/can-beggars-be-choosers/. [Accessed: 10-Oct-2020].
  25. N. Wen and R. Wei, “Examining Effects of Informational Use of Social Media Platforms and Social Capital on Civic Engagement Regarding Genetically Modified Foods in China,” Int. J. Commun., vol. 12, 2018.
  26. Y. Li, C. Luo, and A. Chen, “The evolution of online discussions about GMOs in China over the past decade: Changes, causes and characteristics,” Cult. Sci., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 311–325, 2019.
  27. E. B. Vermeer and P. Ho, “Food Safety Concerns and Biotechnology: Consumers’ Attitudes to Genetically Modified Products in Urban China,” AgBioForum, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 158–175, 2004.
  28. S. Mula, “Finding Golden Rice in the GMO arena: The framing of Golden Rice and agricultural biotechnology in Philippine newspapers,” in SAAS - Agricultural Communications Section, 2007.
  29. J. A. Panopio and M. J. Navarro, “Philippines:Drama and Communication Behind Asia’s First Commercialized Bt Corn,” in Communication Challenges and Convergence in Crop Biotechnology, R. A. Hautea, Ed. Los Baños, Philippines.: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA): Ithaca, New York and SEAMEO Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), 2011.
  30. R. L. S. Asoro, “The effects of press freedom and biotech policy on Southeast Asian newspapers’ coverage of genetically modified crops,” Iowa State University, 2012.
  31. M. Bauer, “Controversial medical and agri-food biotechnology: A cultivation analysis,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 11, pp. 93–111, May 2002.
  32. M. Navarro and M. Villena, “Media monitoring of agri-biotechnology in the Philippines: understanding the biotech debate,” Philipp. Agric. Sci., vol. 87, pp. 439–451, 2004.
  33. M. J. Navarro and R. A. Hautea, “Communication Challenges and Convergence in Crop Biotechnology,” Los Baños, Philippines, 2011.
  34. R. L. S. Asoro, “The effects of press freedom and biotech policy on Southeast Asian newspapers’ coverage of genetically modied crops,” Iowa State University, USA, 2012.
  35. C. DeRosier, I. Sulemana, H. S. J. Jr, Corinne Valdivia, W. Folk, and R. D. Smith, “A comparative analysis of media reporting of perceived risks and benefits of genetically modified crops and foods in Kenyan and international newspapers,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 563–581, 2015.
  36. R. Zamith, J. Pinto, and M. E. Villar, “Constructing Climate Change in the Americas: An Analysis of News Coverage in U.S. and South American Newspapers,” Sci. Commun., vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 334–357, 2012.
  37. L. E. Mumba, “Food Aid Crisis and Communication about GM Foods: Experience from Southern Africa,” in The public, the media and agricultural biotechnology, D. Brossard, J. Shanahan, and T. C. Nesbitt, Eds. The United Kingdom: Biddles Ltd, Kings Lynn, 2007, pp. 338–364.
  38. ISAAA, “Executive Summary Biotech Crops Drive Socio-Economic Development and Sustainable Environment in the New Frontier,” 2019.
  39. M. T. Pham, M. Francic, and B. Petlock, “Vientam Agricultural Biotechnology Annual,” 2018.
  40. D. Q. Vu, H. T. Chu, and T. T. Doan, “Current Status of Biosafety Regulations for GMOs in Vietnam,” Jakarta, 2004.
  41. H. T. Le and M. J. Navarro, “Vietnam Paving the Way for Greater Awareness and Understanding of Biotechnology,” in Communication Challenges and Convergence in Crop Biotechnology, M. J. Navarro and R. A. Hautea., Eds. Los Baños, Philippines: The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and SEAMEO Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), 2011.
  42. Hoang Anh, “Vietnam aims to raise public awareness of GMOs,” 26-Sep-2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.vir.com.vn/vietnam-aims-to-raise-public-awareness-of-gmos-30586.html. [Accessed: 10-Oct-2020].
  43. D. A. Weaver and B. Bimber, “Finding News Stories: A Comparision of Searches Using LexisNexis and Google News,” J. Media Commun. Q., vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 515–530, 2008.
  44. M. Bauer, A. Ragnarsdottir, Asdis Rudolfsdottir, and J. Durant, “Science and Technology in the British Press, 1946-1990 – A systematic content analysis of the press,” London, 1995.
  45. M. C. Nisbet and B. V Lewenstein, “Biotechnology and the American Media: The Policy Process and the Elite Press, 1970 to 1999,” Sci. Commun., vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 359–391, Jun. 2002.
  46. M. Tran, “Science journalism for development in the Vietnam: A multi-facet investigation of issues and challenges and its implications for Global South,” Bournemouth University, 2021.
  47. T. A. van Dijk, “Opinions and Ideologies in Editorials,” in The 4th International Symposium of Critical Discourse Analysis, 1995.
  48. A. Nguyen and M. Tran, “Science journalism for development in the Global South: A systematic literature review of issues and challenges,” Public Underst. Sci., p. 096366251987544, 2019.
  49. A. Hibino and M. Nagata, “Biotechnology in the Japanese media: Comparative analysis of newspaper articles on genetic engineering in Japan and Europe,” Asian J. Soc. Psychol., vol. 9, pp. 12–13, 2006.
  50. F. Neresini, “And Man Descended from the Sheep: The Public Debate on Cloning in the Italian Press,” Public Underst. Sci., vol. 9, pp. 359–382, Oct. 2000.
  51. T.-J. Shih, R. Wijaya, and D. Brossard, “Media Coverage of Public Health Epidemics: Linking Framing and Issue Attention Cycle Toward an Integrated Theory of Print News Coverage of Epidemics,” Mass Commun. Soc., vol. 11, pp. 141–160, 2008.
  52. M. C. Nisbet and M. Huge, “Attention Cycles and Frames in the Plant Biotechnology Debate: Managing Power and Participation through the Press/Policy Connection,” Harvard Int. J. Press., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 3–40, Apr. 2006.
  53. P. van Niekerk and P. de Villiers, “Battling misinformation: The rise of science journalism during Covid-19,” 2020. [Online]. Available: https://whatsnewinpublishing.com/battling-misinformation-the-rise-of-science-journalism-during-covid-19/. [Accessed: 12-Feb-2021].