Journalist Tran Lam: the past always lies ahead

Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 9:15:22

(VOVworld) – Journalist Tran Lam was the founder and leader of Vietnam’s broadcast industry for 43 years. He has been a shining example for other Vietnamese journalists to follow.

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At 23 Lam and his colleagues established Radio the Voice of Vietnam from scratch. They made 3 important decisions: naming the station the Voice of Vietnam; the first broadcast on September 7, 1945 (5 days after the Declaration of Independence); and the concise signature tag: “This is the Voice of Vietnam, broadcasting from Hanoi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam” (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam).

Lam was VOV’s Director General and Editor-in-chief for 43 years through the two resistance wars against French colonialists and US imperialists until his retirement (1945-1988). Under his leadership, Vietnam’s broadcasting industry survived difficult times, steadily progressing from primitive to modern infrastructure and equipment and diverse program contents. VOV has become a close and reliable friend of the people.

The intellect, wisdom and creativity of journalist Tran Lam have made a name for radio in half a century: precise like radio, interesting like radio. As a law graduate in the French colonial era, Lam was excellent in politics and agriculture and had the vision of a great leader who was always aware of Party guidelines, state policies and the realities of life. Radio broadcasting played an extremely important role in the two national wars of resistance, contributing significantly to national liberation and reunification. VOV’s role and status are closely associated with Tran Lam. As head of the radio and later television industry, he helped to establish close and effective cooperation with radio and television stations in other socialist and neighboring countries. Thanks to technical and material help from partners in the Soviet Union, China, Hungary, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, Vietnam’s radio industry has become more modern. Lam originated the idea of using other countries’ radio Kunming (China) and Havana (Cuba) to support broadcasting to southern Vietnam when US forces were devastating northern Vietnam and to the US and other countries during the Vietnam war. This unprecedented idea capitalized on the support of progressive people in the US and the West.

Under his leadership, VOV helped Laos and Cambodia build and develop their own radio systems. This special relationship has continued to be nurtured.

Lam not only trained a group of radio broadcasters but also rallied many intellectuals and artists to work for VOV including Hoài Thanh, Xuân Diệu, Anh Đức, Nguyễn Quang Sáng; Hoàng Vân, Phạm Tuyên, Lê Lôi, Hồ Bắc, Cao Việt Bách, Phan Nhân, Trần Chung, Nguyễn An, Trần Mạnh Thường; Châu Loan, Trần Thị Tuyết, and Quách Thị Hồ.

Lam was succeeded by several VOV leaders through different periods of time including Lý Văn Sáu, Lê Quý, Phan Quang, Trần Mai Hạnh, Vũ Văn Hiền, Mai Thúc Long, Huỳnh Ngọc Ấn, Trần Quang Khải, Phan Văn Nho, Nguyễn Thị Kim Cúc, Lê Đình Đạo, Hoàng Minh Nguyệt, and Đào Duy Hứa.

In the era of digitization, technology convergence, and multimedia, VOV has diversified its communication tools to television, print and online. VOV is the only media organization in Vietnam that operates 4 media formats to meet the needs of the public from rural to urban areas. The Ethnic Language Channel and the Overseas Service are VOV’s special channels to serve Vietnam’s revolution in the new era. The National Traffic Channel, the online newspaper VOV.VN, the Urban Information Channel, and the 24/7 English Channel have been and will be contributing effectively to VOV’s development strategy until 2020.

Journalist Tran Lam, the founder of Vietnam’s broadcast industry and a pioneer of Vietnam’s revolutionary press, has left a precious legacy. He was a role model for the revolutionary spirit, honesty, creativity, and passion for the job. Journalist Tran Lam will endure forever as an icon for Vietnamese broadcasters. Journalist Tran Lam – the past is not behind but always lies ahead./.

- Journalist Tran Lam’s name at birth was Tran Quang Van. He was born on January 5, 1922, in Doan Tung commune, Thanh Mien, Hai Duong. He was a member of the Party Central Committee and Director of the Vietnam Radio and Television Commission.

- He was one of a handful of people assigned by President Ho Chi Minh to establish and develop a radio broadcasting industry. VOV’s first broadcast was on September 7, 1945.

- 25 years later on September 7, 1970, Lam and his colleagues created Vietnam’s first TV program, marking the founding of Vietnamese television.