Last week Global Voices Advocacy won first prize in a ‘Blogging for a cause’ competition run by Zemanta, a platform which aims to ‘accelerate on-line content production for any web user’. More than 60 different websites were nominated; the top 5 to receive the most votes from bloggers won US $1200.
Solana Larsen, managing editor of the GV site, sums the project up like this:
“A project of Global Voices to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists. Its director is Sami ben Gharbia, a Tunisian free speech advocate and blogger.”
Larsen shared a few more thoughts with Journalism.co.uk: “The Zemanta win was fun because it was an opportunity for bloggers in our community to work collectively to raise some funds for Global Voices Advocacy in a simple way. So much of the time, we’re writing posts to draw attention to censorship, arrested bloggers, or different injustices around the world, that it’s nice with a little positive reinforcement.
“Global Voices Advocacy is working on developing more tools and resources for free speech activists online. A lot of the bloggers in this community are individuals who are working on their own or in small networks in different parts of the world, and we are connecting them with others and trying to develop a sense of unity across borders.
“When somebody discovers that their blog is blocked, or receives threats from authorities, it’s good to have someone to talk to about the risks and possibilities. Internet censorship is extremely common, but there are also many brave people who insist on making their voices heard. Sami ben Gharbia is one of them.”