Curated and translated citizen journalism
Global Voices unearths and champions news from marginalized communities whose voices and stories would otherwise go unheard.
The non profit, founded in Harvard’s Berkman Centre for Internet and Society in 2004, set out to advocate for and accelerate the disruptive effect it believed community reporters could have on mainstream newsgathering.
It has since grown into a multi-lingual, borderless virtual newsroom of 800 editors and writers – most of them volunteers – monitoring, curating, verifying and translating stories from blogs, independent press and social media: covering 167 countries and 30 languages.
It has also forged strong partnerships with mainstream media such as BBC, CNN and Reuters to get those stories out – encouraging mainstream media to use respected local correspondents to supplement their own foreign correspondents.
Distribution tie-ups like, giving audiences immediate, direct and vivid contact with citizens in crisis, are vital, argue its founders: because while the democratization of media makes it easier to publish than ever before, many of us in fact live in narrowing ‘information orbits’ – following stories via our ‘friends’ and ‘follows’ on Facebook or Twitter.
In other words, according to managing editor Solana Larsen: ‘It’s not enough to make the personal decision that you want a wider world. We have to figure out how to rewire the systems we have, fix our media, cultivate xenophiles… try to get you out of your normal orbit, pay attention.’
Storytelling impacts individuals, as well as shaping global opinion, says Ivan Sigal, the site’s executive director. ‘In countries where just a few years ago the number of blogs could be counted on one hand,’ he says, ‘there are now thousands of citizens typing away, telling their own stories and documenting the world around them. Lives and communities have changed as a result.’ The site won the Knight-Batten Grand Prize in 2006.
Image 'Global Voices Summit 2012 - Day 1' courtesy of Asteris Masouras
Last updated: 15th of May, 2014