Recently www.phunutoday.vn, a women-oriented website belonging to Bao Doi song va Phap luat (Life and Law Newspaper), raised the ire of netizens after running a story titled “Truong Ngoc Anh’s daughter shows slip.”
The title reads "Thuy Tien shows giant breast under wet undergarments"
Beneath the headline was the photo of a child of around three with her slip showing under a pink dress.
The headline was later changed into “’Princess’ of Truong Ngoc Anh mischievous” but bloggers were furious.
On www.webtretho.com, a member named Bagiaquay wrote: “Unimaginable! It is sick that this newspaper dared to show a naïve child in the paper and it is terrible that the editor let it be published.
“I wonder if this man or woman has children and if their children never show a slip like that”.
Last month www.2sao.vn, newswire VietNamNet’s entertainment website, ran photos of actress Thanh Thuy’s two-year son with the headline “’Hot boy’ of Thanh Thuy shows bare chest”.
The child was, in fact, dressed in a loose T-shirt.
It goes without saying adults are also targets of sleazy and sensational headlines.
VietNamNet also ran a headline saying “Behind the stage, Thanh Thuy unintentionally shows body.”
Apparently its reporter had entered the room when the actress was styling her hair and preparing to perform at the “Buoc nhay Hoan vu” sport dance competition and photographed her showing her underwear though she had her legs crossed. The photo editor even drew a rectangle on the upskirt shot.
It is common to see risque headlines in many websites. Samples include “Thuy Top with bedraggled hair exposes 2/3 of giant breast” and “Cong Vinh’s girlfriend with huge breasts conquers the stage.”
They are accompanied by photos of artists, singers, fashion models, or sport stars dressed sexily or even just unusually.
It is not always just prurient stuff, however. The gutter press realizes that many readers also lap up all kinds of tidbits about celebrities. Thus, there are also stories like “Cong Vinh sneakily reads Thuy Tien’s messages” and “Mai Phuong Thuy and ‘sweetheart’ express love in an alley.”
Boong Boong, a member, wrote in the website www.webtretho.com: “For e-papers now, a day without showing bodies will probably be the day when the Internet in Vietnam faces a problem and newspapers cannot sell.”
Nguyen Khuyen Thien Y, an alumnus of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Foreign Languages-Information Technology, said: “Every time I read about some showbiz figure unintentionally showing their body, I wonder how uneasy I would feel if I were that person.
“If their exposure is deliberate, the reporter must find a way to make [the story] constructive to [make them] stop instead of using it to attract page views.”
In a letter to Tuoi Tre, Nguyen Truong Trung said readers wonder if stars pretend that their body show is unintentional though they actually do it deliberately for publicity.
They also ask if reporters are in on this.
But when such stories and photos appear, the responsibility of both the reporter and the editorial board must be considered, he said.
Of course, in a tolerant society like Vietnam, sensational and sleazy stories will always find their way into the media.
In many countries, tabloids are clearly identified and cater to a particular section of readers.
Since this has yet to happen in Vietnam, readers continue to be scandalized by the skin show and sleazy stories in even what are otherwise respectable newspapers.