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MALCOLM W. BROWNE:
Saigon AP Bureau Handbook


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INTRODUCTION

This is intended as a general briefing on news coverage of South Viet Nam for Associated Press staff correspondents new to the area, for AP stringers, and for friends of the AP who come into the country from time to time.

The contents should be regarded as confidential, and it is requested that you do not pass on this booklet to another person.

Because a major part of news coverage here has to do with the guerrilla war and the special problems the war has created, a large part of the booklet consists of basic military reference material.

We also include some tips on getting around the city and country, and on things to look for in covering the country. Obviously, most of the background you will need to operate effectively must come in briefings from officials and from going out to look for yourself.

Coverage in Viet Nam requires aggressiveness, resourcefulness and, at times, methods uncomfortably close to those used by professional intelligence units. You can expect very little help from most official sources, and news comes the hard way. Correspondents in Viet Nam are regarded by the Saigon government as "scabby sheep," and treated accordingly. At the same time, the Vietnamese people are friendly and agreeable, and private sources can be cultivated.

Because of the political climate, it is vitally important to protect sources -- particularly those of Vietnamese nationality. Disclosure of sources by several indiscrete newsmen in Viet Nam has wrecked careers, or worse. American military sources must be similarly protected.

Good luck. You'll need it.

Malcolm W. Browne
Saigon, Jan. 25, 1963


Courtesy Malcolm W. Browne.

Photo: Horst Faas, Mal Browne and Peter Arnett in the Saigon AP office. Photo credit: Peter Arnett collection Reporter's Notebook
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