WESTMINSTER - An editor at
a Little Saigon newspaper, which faced the wrath of anti-communist
protesters for nearly a year, has hired back one of the editors who
lost his job following the controversy that spurred those protests.
Hao-Nhien Q. Vu
started his Bolsavik blog days after he was let go by Nguoi Viet Daily
News. Vu was instrumental in publishing an article accompanied by the
photo of a foot spa painted in red and yellow - the colors of the
former South Vietnamese flag, now officially adopted by the local
Vietnamese American community.
Hao-Nhien Vu was has
been hired back after he ws fired from the Nguoi Viet Daily News for
making the decision to run a photo of a foot spa painted in the colors
of the flag of the former South Vietnam.
RODRIGUEZ, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
The protests began
after that photo with an article by the artist who created it, ran in
the Lunar New Year special edition of the newspaper. Newspaper
administrators sued three protesters - Trong Doan, Ky NGO and Cung
Tran - who led the protests. In June, an Orange County jury decided
that the protesters trespassed on the newspaper's property on Moran
Street and caused a nuisance, affecting the newspaper's ability to
conduct its business peacefully and efficiently. Following that
verdict, the protesters entered into an agreement saying they would
stop. The newspaper agreed not to pursue them financially for monetary
Vu said he was
surprised when he was approached by the paper around the time the
"Certainly, it feels
surreal," he said. "But overall, it just feels like destiny to me,
like this is what I'm meant to do."
Vu has joined the
paper full-time as an editor, part of the many changes the newspaper
is going through, said Giao Pham, Nguoi Viet's new editor-in-chief.
Pham said he worked several years as a reporter under Vu and left in
2007 to work for Radio Free Asia. He was hired back by the paper last
"I think Hao-Nhien
will be very good for Nguoi Viet because he is a very professional
journalist," he said. "We need more professional journalists (in
Pham said he made the
suggestion to bring back Vu to the newspaper's board of directors and
editorial. It was immediately welcomed, he said.
The newspaper is going
through staff changes and is getting ready to move in a new direction,
with the bitterness of the protests behind them, Pham said.
"The protesters and
some in the community think we are communists and Hao-Nhien is a
communist," Pham said. "But he's not and we're not communists. We,
like the rest of our community, are here to promote democracy in
Vu said he is looking
forward to his second chance at the paper. On the one hand, Vu says he
has learned his lesson and on the other hand, he feels vindicated.
"I think about that
foot spa photo a lot and if I were to do it again, maybe I would put
in an editor's note explaining it in the context of the story," he
said. "I think this has taught me something about hurting the
Several journalists at
Nguoi Viet have left to join Viet Herald, a new paper, Vu said.
"It's a breakaway
group," he said. "But it's good because it enlivens our media market."
Vu said he will
continue his Bolsavik blog, which has been well-received by those
inside and outside the Vietnamese American community.