Sunday, February 15, 2009

Global Voices wins Anvil of Freedom Award

The Estlow Center for Journalism and New Media has honored Global Voices Online, an online initiative of Reuters and Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, as the 2009 recipient of the Anvil of Freedom Award. This award is given in recognition of Global Voices Online's outstanding journalistic efforts in providing opportunities for people to read and respond to news from a variety of citizen and professional journalists, in several languages, using the best of blogging technologies. Global Voices Online Co-Founder Ethan Zuckerman received the award at the University of Denver on Thursday, February 5, 2009.

As a contributor to Global Voices, I am very happy to announce the above news that our organization receives recognition for our work. In a new media landscape, Global Voices serves a next to unique function in proffering a digest of alternative and citizen journalism and events, which are otherwise poorly covered by mainstream western media. However, what makes my heart beat with joy over Global Voices is how people all over the world succeed in cooperating constructively and be stimulated by each other's ideas and contributions without meeting each other more than perhaps once a year. So, in my view the various awards that Global Voices receives is little in comparison to the daily reward of cooperating with gifted and open-minded people all over the world in a mutual effort to give voice to those previously bereft of free speech and thus contribute to the growth of a global open society in its fight against intolerance and repression.

Estlow Center honors Global Voices with 2009 Anvil of Freedom Award
Blog site gets Anvil award
Global Voices Wins Anvil of Freedom Award 2009
Estlow Center honors Global Voices with Anvil of Freedom Award


UkrToday said...


Whilst global voices has a significant role to play in independent online media and commentary it, sadly, has let down many readers in what is clearly a bias and highly subjective editorial policy when it comes to Russia and Ukraine. Many issues effecting Ukraine that have been canvassed by the media and online bloggers are not covered or are selectively ignored.

Global voices has not reported on the growing disatisfaction within Ukraine to Ukraine's embattled President, Viktor Yushchenko.

The prospect of Ukraine facing a prolonged and divisive presidential campaign at a time of economic crisis is not in Ukraine's best interest.

Yushchenko, according to recent public opinion polls has less then 4% support the lowest support for a head of state in the world and will not be re-elected for a second term of office

Pressure is mounting for Yushchenko to resign and for Ukraine to hold early Presidential elections in September/October.

Talk that Yushchenko might try and hold on to power by calling a state of emergency is of concern and if implemented will seriously exacerbate social and political unrest in the region.

Ukraine is very much on the knifes edge and Yushchenko has become part of the problem and not the solution.

Yushchenko has failed to unite Ukraine and deliver on expectations following his election in 2004/5

Yushchenko who constantly undermines Ukraine's governing coalition, rightly, is now seen as the main destabilizing factor facing Ukraine, with over 70% of Ukrainians believing he should resign and 55% supporting his impeachment.

The recent resignation of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Raisa Bohatyriova and ongoing division within the President's own party has added to Yushchenko's pending demise. He no longer commands any respect or authority.

Early presidential elections is Ukraine best hope in the short term of resolving the ongoing power struggle and hopefully restoring balance, stability and direction in Ukraine.

Sadly, Global voices has remained silent on issues criticizing Yushchenko or highlighting the seriousness of the current situation in Ukraine.

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear UkrToday,

Many questions have simple and straightforward answers, and so is also the case here. Global Voices is a non-profit project, and there are only a few people getting paid for their work. Otherwise, it is totally voluntary.

Consequently, I believe it is a question of time, and no other reason besides that. I for one have not been able to follow Ukraine properly lately, as I usually get up at five in the morning and quite often do not return home until ten in the evening. As you might guess, that is not a time when you are at your best in considering what should be covered or not.

Paradoxically, I have noticed that I often tend to cover Ukraine last, for the simple reason that my bloglines account is alphabetically ordered. I have tried to keep this in mind, but am aware of the fact that Ukraine still often comes last.

Then, there is the question of interest and knowledge as well. As a Swede, Russia and the Baltic states are much closer, and they are countries that I have closely followed since the late 1980s. So, doing things on a voluntary basis, it is quite self-evident that I often choose to read up on events in some countries that I have a greater interest in than others. I am convinced that the opposite would be the case if there were people more interested in Ukraine or other countries. Take for instance Moldova. I cannot remember ever having covered any Moldova blogs for Global Voices, and have probably only written about the country once or twice on my own blog.

So, as you might understand, at least I do not believe I have any real bias as for Ukrainian politics.

As for your figures on Ukraine and the position of Yushchenko, they very much coincide with the impression that I have got. Thus, I would not say that I disagree with you, even if I choose not to voice an opinion on Yushchenko per se in the context of Global Voices, as here is clearly the case. That would rather be a subject for a piece on my own blog, where I am unbound by GV contributor guidelines.

Finally, thank you for voicing your opinion! If you had not, I would not be aware of any concern or discontent as for the GV content on Ukraine. Whether I will have an opportunity to act on this feedback is, however, rather a matter of time and possibility than one of taking a stand in any way. However, I will certainly address the matter with my colleagues to see if there is any feasible way of getting to grips with this, if we jointly deem there is an objective need for this in relation to other countries and issues that we need to cover.



Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear UkrToday,

Having consulted with my GV-colleagues, it actually appears we have at least covered the theme that you complain about us not having covered. I do not know if this was prior to or after your comment on my blog, but as I only saw your comment this evening, it might perhaps also support my claim that what you consider bias, might actually - to there is any sibstance to this - rather be the inadvertent consequence of the limitations our voluntary work pose.

Anyway, here is a link to a recent Yushchenko coverage:



UkrToday said...

Tanks the issue of concern is not related to your input. The bias has been there for some time. I know where its based but prefer to not point fingers directly. There are many issues that are canvased in the blogsphere that are not covered by global voices. in short I tend to ignore it when it comes to Ukraine as a result.

I miss Sweden. I think Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries are a good role model for Ukraine to consider. Finland has a good Constitutional structure.

But as always I value your thoughts and contribution.

Veronica Khokhlova said...

UkrToday wrote:

"[...] There are many issues that are canvased in the blogsphere that are not covered by global voices. [...]"

If you feel you can contribute to filling the gaps in GV's coverage, you are welcome to become one of our volunteer authors. Please write me at cee AT globalvoicesonline DOT org and I'll explain to you how it works in more detail. Thank you.

UkrToday said...

The facts speck for themselves and contributions are often ignored or go unaddressed. I think Global voices has potential to be a covering umbrella of various issues but sadly it is not reaching out and publishes articles on mainly side mundane issues that are not really reflective of what's happening and going on in Ukraine. There are a lot of things going on in Ukraine right now that have a major impact on the stability and security of the region.

Much of it centers around Yushchenko and his politics of division.

There is wide push for Yushchenko to resign and to allow for Early Presidential elections in Summer as opposed to holding late elections next winter.

The battle (War) of the Oranges continues as Yushchenko tries to cling on to power with a vast majority of Ukrainians believing he should be ousted from office. Yushchenko's 4% support rating for a head of state is the lowest in the world

A prolong presidential campaign along with growing financial insecurity is not in Ukraine';s bets interest. The sooner the issue of Presidential elections is addressed the sooner Ukraine can hopefully begin to address then host of other issues confronting the country right now.

Talk of Yushchenko deliberately seeking to undermine Ukraine's economic and democratic development with the intention of declaring a state of emergency in order to prolong his term of office and the possibility of a Presidential coup are serious issues.

Yushchenko is like the load dog." A dog that retrieves a stick of dynamite and tries to return it to his masters. He has not only lost support and respect but also authority. Yushchenko is no longer an effective player in Ukraine's national affairs.

It does not get more serious then this.

If Ukraine falls then so does the region.

There are reports of a tent city of a different nature setting up in Ukraine. A city based on poverty not political protest.

The economic bust has had a major impact on Ukraine. Not helped by a head of state that no longer is respected or trusted.

It is issues such at these that have had very little to mention on Global Voices.

Much of it comes down to editorial policy not content. I suggest that readers scan Kyiv post daily for the latest updates

Veronica Khokhlova said...

UkrToday wrote:

"It is issues such at these that have had very little to mention on Global Voices."

As I wrote in the previous comment, you are welcome to contribute texts on how these issues are covered by Ukrainian and Russian bloggers.

UkrToday wrote:

"The facts speck for themselves and contributions are often ignored or go unaddressed."

To begin contributing to GV, you need to contact me first, so that we could set up a volunteer author account for you. Since you are posting anonymously, I have no way of knowing whether we've ever discussed your involvement. I don't think we have. My email is cee AT globalvoicesonline DOT org. Thank you.