Global Voices Online

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Global Voices
Global Voices Online logo.png
Founded 2004, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Focus Journalism
Area served

Global Voices is an international network of bloggers, translators, and citizen journalists that follow, report, and summarize what is going on in the blogosphere. It is a non-profit project started by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School that grew out of an international bloggers' meeting held in December 2004. The organization was founded by Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon. In 2008 it became an independent non-profit incorporated in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


When Global Voices was formed, Its objectives were: first, to enable and empower a community of "bridgebloggers" who "can make a bridge between two languages, or two cultures."[1] Second to develop tools and resources to make achieving the first objective more effective. It has maintained a working relationship with mainstream media. Reuters, for example, gave Global Voices an unrestricted grant in January 2006.[2] For its contribution to innovation in journalism, Global Voices was granted the 2006 Knight-Batten Grand Prize.

The organization now states its goals as to:

  • " Call attention to the most interesting conversations and perspectives emerging from citizens’ media around the world by linking to text, photos, podcasts, video and other forms of grassroots citizens’ media."
  • " Facilitate the emergence of new citizens’ voices through training, online tutorials, and publicizing the ways in which open-source and free tools can be used safely by people around the world".
  • Advocate for freedom of expression ... and protect the rights of citizen journalists ""[3]

The organizations has a team of regional editors that aggregates and selects conversations from a variety of blogospheres, with a particular focus on non-Western and underrepresented voices.


Several projects have grown to become successful websites of their own with distinct communities.

Global Voices Advocacy

Global Voices Advocacy seeks to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world that is dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online. By collaborating with software developers, activists, and bloggers, the network hopes to design new and more appropriate tools to protect our rights on the Internet.

Rising Voices

Launched in May 2007, Rising Voices seeks to empower under-represented communities to make their voices heard online by providing micro-grants to new projects; developing a series of participatory media tutorials; and cultivating a network of passionate citizen media activists.

Project Lingua

In 2007, a project with the aim of translating Global Voices content from English into other languages by volunteer translators was formed, with the name Project Lingua.[4] As of May 2015, there are currently over 40 translation sites.

RuNet Echo[edit]

RuNet Echo’s main purpose is to expand and deepen understanding of the Russian Internet (RuNet) and related online communities.

Past Projects[edit]

Technology for Transparency Network[edit]

The Technology for Transparency Network was a participatory research and mapping project to gain a better understanding of the current state of online technology projects that increase transparency, government accountability, and civic engagement in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, and Central & Eastern Europe. The project is co-funded by Open Society Institute's Information Program and Omidyar Network's Media, Markets & Transparency initiative, and aims to inform both programs' future investments toward transparency, accountability, and civic engagement technology projects.

Voices without Votes[edit]

During the United States presidential election of 2008 Global Voices was commissioned by Reuters to create a website, Voices without Votes, to tracked global online conversation about US politics and foreign policy. Amira al Hussaini was editor of the website, and Global Voices authors and editors all contributed in the 8 months leading up to Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009.

The Witness Hub[edit]

From 2006-2007, Global Voices and human rights video organization WITNESS collaborated on a pilot project to monitor human rights citizen videos from around the world.[5] The effort was led by Sameer Padania, and won Best New Media Project at the One World Media Awards in 2007.[6] WITNESS developed The Hub as central part of their own website in 2008, launching a community forum where people can upload human rights videos themselves. The Hub was itself archived in 2010,[7] and in collaboration with YouTube and social media curation site Storyful, WITNESS launched a YouTube Human Rights Channel in May 2012.[8]


  1. ^ Boyd, Clark (6 April 2005). "Global voices speak through blogs". BBC News - Technology (BBC). Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Sweney, Mark (13 April 2006). "Reuters partners in comment blog". MediaGuardian (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Global Voices About Us. Accessed 1 August 2012.
  4. ^ Salzberg, Chris (July 2008). "Translation and Participatory Media: Experiences from Global Voices". Translation Journal 12 (3). Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Global Voices/WITNESS Hub archive page -
  6. ^ List of 2007 One World Media Award Winners
  7. ^ Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, "Update on The Hub and WITNESS' New Online Strategy" (18 August 2010)
  8. ^ Sam Gregory, "WITNESS and Storyful Announce New YouTube Channel For Human Rights" 24 May 2012 -

External links[edit]