Well, hot damn. The fine folks at the Knight Batten award for innovations in journalism have seen fit to award their grand prize for 2006 to Global Voices. The folks at Knight Batten seem to understand the full picture of what we’re trying to do – in issuing the award, the judges said, “An extraordinary site that allows for both editorial gatekeeping and wide access to news and information from underreported parts of the world.”
That single phrase includes two of the biggest ideas behind our work – the blend of editorial control and weblogging, and the focus on the developing world. It’s two of the ideas that we work hardest to explain to people, and it’s great to see that Knight Batten realizes that those factors are a big part of what we do well. Another major feature that demands mention: the amazing team that makes the whole thing possible. There’s at least a 100 people in any given week who make the project possible, and the whole thing would fail utterly without support from such an amazing team.
I’m at the end of a long road trip – I’m leaving Harare tomorrow morning for Johannesburg, London, New York and, god willing, home by Wednesday night. Lots to tell you about my brief visit to Zimbabwe, which I’ll post tomorrow midday from Jo’burg. The theme of this trip – there’s thousands of people out there who want to find a way to share their voices with the wider world: activists, journalists, students, NGO workers, people living outside their home countries, proud South Africans, Zimbabweans, Kenyans, Ethiopians. I hope that as Global Voices moves into its second full year of life, we can focus on helping more people join the blogosphere, and help people in countries where freedom of expression isn’t assured gain their voices online.
The Knight Batten Award includes a $10,000 prize. We decided long before the prize that it would go towards bringing more Global Voices contributors to our annual meeting in Delhi. The major topic for that meeting? How we help encourage blogging throughout the world, so we can bring you voices from the corners of the world we’re missing now…
Thanks, Knight Batten, and big thanks to the sponsors, friends and especially to the amazing team behind Global Voices. I couldn’t be more proud.