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Dan Lam Bao

Dan Lam Bao
Oslo, Oslo Norway
CROWDRISING SINCE: Jul 20, 2013
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Do you want to support Dan Lam Bao?

Do you want to support Dan Lam Bao? Dan Lam Bao is considered a truly independent media outlet in Vietnam. It is not connected to any political parties, and it does not receive any funds from the government. All donations can be made anonymously.

Do you want to help people in Vietnam to keep their voice loud and clear? Do you want them to have influence over the way their country is being run?

One of the best ways to do that is through a donation to Dan Lam Bao (danlambaovn.blogspot.com), an independent media outlet in Vietnam. An operation like Dan Lam Bao costs money to run:

- Technical expert fees for internet security set-up / services;

- Staff to man the website and editorial works;

- Office/satellite office expenses;

- Computers for staff and key staff writers/contributors;

- Travel and investigation expenses/equipments for reporters;

- Stipends for freelancers;

- Technical, journalistic, English and security trainings;

- Fees for English translation of key articles/news;

- A future English Website.

To financially meet these requirements / demands, Dan Lam Bao does not receive any financial support from any government or political party, and relies heavily on volunteer work and sporadic donations.


What exactly is Dan Lam Bao?

Dan Lam Bao (danlambaovn.blogspot.com) is one of the blogs that has the government in Vietnam worried. Dan Lam Bao was created out of the critical need for an independent forum where netizens can share their thoughts, their local and national concerns freely without interference, and access accurate, impartial, trustworthy and timely news without censorship.

In fact the Vietnamese government is so worried that they have declared [1] that they will use every mean possible [2] to stop this blog, and the bloggers associated with it. Many members are now blogging under pseudonyms in order to avoid being arrested by the Vietnamese Security police. This is also a measure they have to take in order to protect their family members, as the government will harass them in order to get to the bloggers.

While most of their contributors are in Vietnam, some of key personnel such as administrators have temporary relocated for safety reasons and to protect the blog.

Dan Lam Bao’s contributors include not only independent news gatherers and freelancers, but also reporters from mainstream media and informants from within the government, as well as state officials from various party factions. Despite the physical attacks, harassment, interrogation, mental terrorism, imprisonment, threats and surveillance against them, they strive to uphold their audience’s right to the truth, and to freedom of expression.

In addition to encouraging their news gatherers and reporters to use pseudonyms, pen names, as well as continually educating their viewers and contributors on how to protect their identity over the internet and how to circumvent firewalls and other internet security risks, Dan Lam bao takes great caution to protect their staff members and safeguard their administrative passwords and operating locations. For now everyone working on the site, are volunteers.

The Vietnamese government had put up firewall 100% inside Vietnam, however, despite that Dan Lam Bao has 50 000 daily readers and about 150 000 views every single day. They are perseverant to continue filling in news gaps left by state censorship of Vietnam's mainstream media and to provide a forum for public debate and accurate news to more than 50 000 viewers mainly from within Vietnam on a daily basis.

The blog is continuously growing and this means that they need more resources in order to keep their readers up to date on latest events in Vietnam. They also need resources in order to keep their staff members safe, and their site alive and impossible for the Vietnamese government to attack.

The site has been up for three years, but they have now reached a critical point where several of their staff members have had to relocate to neighboring countries to avoid prosecution. Vietnam is in the process of changing their constitution, so this is the perfect time for Dan Lam Bao to grow and not only create awareness inside Vietnam, but also in the international community.

This is why they want people all over the world to be able to support them, and to do so anonymously. Because till now it would be easy to trace donations from one person directly to Dan Lam Bao, and this could lead to consequences for both the donor and Dan Lam Bao.

Article 19 in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

However, not all countries value the freedom of speech. Most of these countries are lead by a stronghold regime trying to stay alive in a continuously evolving world. Vietnam is such a communist regime. In spite of their country’s motto Independence- Freedom- Happiness, the Vietnamese people in general are not free.

One way the government exerts control over the public is strong censorship and a media that is solely owned or run by the government in one way or another. This meant that the public in Vietnam had no voice. No one to ask the critical questions until 2005, when Yahoo blogs came to Vietnam. It gave people who wanted to voice their concern about the regime, a place to communicate with each other and the world.

But this freedom came at a cost. At first the government did not see it as a threat, but when they realized that it led to people talking and asking critical questions, they decided to strike back. Today, bloggers and citizen journalists who are writing material that is critical to the Vietnamese government will be harassed, tortured, arrested and thrown in jail without legal representation or even a trial.

This has lead to several bloggers and citizen journalists leaving Vietnam in order to be able to do their job. But still the Vietnamese government makes it hard and they exert their control over the internet by using firewalls and planting viruses and trojans in order to destroy the critical voices.

Vietnam is now one of five countries listed as Enemies of the internet in the annual report by Reporters without Borders. The communist Party General Secretary in Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong was also listed as one of 39 leaders named as Predators of Freedom of Information, in this same report in May 2013. [3]


[1] http://cpj.org/blog/2012/09/danlambao-we-will-not-be-silenced.php
 

[2] http://vanban.chinhphu.vn/portal/page/portal/chinhphu/hethongvanban?class_id=2&mode=detail&document_id=163586

[3] http://fr.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf

Dan Lam
Bao

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