The Democratic Voice of Burma

Using the power of the internet to open borders

The Democratic Voice of Burma is a non-profit organization based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Run by Burmese expatriates, the group created radio and television broadcasts with the goal of providing uncensored news and information about the conditions in Myanmar to those still living in the military-controlled country and to the global community.

So incredible was the work done by this group that an Academy Award-nominated documentary was produced detailing their efforts. Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country follows the Saffron Revolution against the military regime. The documentary chronicles the experience of journalists who secretly recorded stories in Burma and then carried those tapes through the jungle and across the border into Thailand.

camera Democratic Voice of Burmanewspaper Democratic Voice of Burma

The Challenge

In preparation for Burma’s first general election in 55 years, the DVB needed a site that could support visitors in two languages, Burmese and English. The DVB knew that site traffic would increase dramatically as the election grew near and their current site was not up to the task of handling the needs of a global audience.

The solution

Mercury’s designers studied the user interface trends for new websites in both Western Europe and Southeast Asia to ensure what was buil was both usable and familiar to their two primary audiences.

The user interface allowed visitors to quickly scan through categories to find the stories that interest them the most or use the site’s search feature conveniently located on the homepage. The clean design elements ensured that the user experience is not burdened by pages that are slow to load or otherwise hampered by heavy, unnecessary graphics.

Mercury also worked with the client to select a content management solution that was both scalable and secure, as the site was under regular cyber attack due to the nature of its mission.

nominated-mark Democratic Voice of Burma The Documentary

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country is an Academy Award nominated documentary from Anders Ostergaard that focuses on the work of DVB, who defy the government’s crackdown on the media — and manage to transmit footage of the uprising to the outside world.

The documentary is currently available for viewing online.

The Results

The site successfully launched ahead of the general elections and site traffic sky-rocketed to more than 1.2 million sessions per month during the election.

Democratic Voice of Burma