Category Archives: Grant Updates

Introducing the Open Journal of Citizen Media!

Hi, dear community,
First of all, thank you so much for all your suggestions and votes that helped us choose the journal’s name!
And the winner is…
Open Journal of Citizen Media!
The original suggestion, by Solana, won with 33 votes. We decided to incorporate the word Open, contained in Luis Henrique’s second most voted suggestion (23 votes), to emphasize the journal’s innovative and accessible approach. What do you guys think? 🙂
Janet raised an interesting question about the name in the comments section:
“I like the simplicity too – just that citizen media has been around since there was cavepainting. Assuming our concern is online? Perhaps worth incorporating? But anyways I don’t have a simple solution, sorry”
Elisa and I discussed this and we came to the conclusion that we can leave this open, as the emphasis wouldn’t be necessarily online citizen media. Due to developments in the field, most articles would focus on online forms of citizen media, but we’d like to think that projects that fit the description of citizen media by Clemencia Rodriguez would be welcome too:

“Referring to ‘citizens’ media’ implies first that a collectivity is enacting its citizenship by actively intervening and transforming the established mediascape; second, that these media are contesting social codes, legitimized identities, and institutionalized social relations; and third, that these communication practices are empowering the community involved, to the point where these transformations and changes are possible.” (Rodriguez, 2001, p. 20)

So, offline projects or online-offline initiatives would be welcome too. We’ll try to make this clear in the call for papers and on the site, so thanks for raising this, Janet!
Thanks to Jeremy, the website is in the works right now and we are looking for people who would like to work on its layout. If webdesign is your thing and you’d like to help, just let us know!
We hope to have more news for you soon!
Feel free to write to us with any feedback, ideas and constructive criticism 🙂
Débora and Elisa

Choose a name for the Global Voices Journal + join the team!

Hi, dear GVers,
As some of you already know, Elisa and I won one of the innovation grants to create a gratis open access journal for scientific articles about citizen media. You can see more details about the project here.
We’re writing today because we’d like the community’s input on two things: first, we don’t have a name for the journal yet, so we thought we could crowdsource the process and count on everyone’s creativity to come up with a name that represents this new area in the work we do as a community. You can enter your suggestions here and vote for the best name:
The author of the winning suggestion will receive a surprise GV prize 🙂 Suggestions can be added until 31 January and voting will go on until one week later, until 7 February!
The second thing is that we’re looking for people to fill the following positions (with a symbolic pay):

Editorial Assistant – an Editorial Assistant can take responsibility for handling queries, processing manuscripts through peer review (e.g. the Chief Editor might indicate reviewers, while the Editorial Assistant sends the request to the reviewer and later the manuscript).

Managing Editor – typically a Managing Editor handles the same types of work as an Editorial Assistant, but is often involved in higher level decisions together with the Chief Editor, and might even be involved in the Journal finances or other aspects of administration.

Production Editor – manages the production process. Requires solid IT skills.

Layout Editor – the Layout Editor is responsible for structuring the original manuscript, including figures and tables, into an article, activating necessary links and preparing the manuscript in the various formats it will be published in.

Typesetter – a typesetter is an external partner that can handle layout editing and production of the manuscript in the appropriate formats. Typesetters can also provide copyediting and are often able to provide some distribution to third parties, such as Communication and Mass Media Complete.

Marketer – someone on the team should take responsibility for engaging in outreach to make others aware of the Journal. This might be a role that several or all members of the team share.

The journal is biannual, which means the workload is neither frequent nor overwhelming and everyone can collaborate with as much time as they find possible right now.
We appreciate your participation! This is a project that belongs to all of us 🙂
Elisa and Débora

Update on Cojiro


*taps microphone, dust falls to the floor….

It’s been quite a while since our last post but things are chugging along and we’re happy to share the news. (And also happy to see that fellow projects are also still live and well! Hi Juan!)

First, a re-acquaintance of the problem that Cojiro aims to solve.

A typical flow for writing a GV article is something like this –

  1. Decide on a topic
  2. Hunt for good links – blog posts, tweets, videos, images
  3. Assess, prioritize, and order those links into a cohesive storyline
  4. Translate snippets from 3.
  5. Write the article

Normally, this is done by one person (the Author) with the occasional help with 2. and 4. from their language/regional GV community via mailing lists and Facebook groups.

We asked ourselves: Is there a better way for non-Authors – and even non-GVers! – to contribute with steps 2 through 4? And if that exists, wouldn’t that form of collaborative storywriting help validate and build interest in a story before it’s even written? That would motivate both GV writers and our audience!

That was the original motivation and also where we left off the last time we shared on this blog.

However, we kept running into the same wall – our idea was too complicated for non-GV friends to understand. As any GVer who’s had trouble explaining the flow of content and division of labor between GV English and the Lingua sites knows, it’s just a very big idea to wrap one’s head around.

It was never our intention to build an internal GV tool though.

As such, much of the work in the past year has been about reframing the service concept. How does one explain cross-lingual content discovery and community building in layman’s terms? And get them excited about it?! This required nailing down the service ideas without depending on the GV context… and this was very difficult, even painful at times.

Cojiro is a platform to share and talk about awesome things on the Internet regardless of its language, with other people who are interested in the same things as you.

We’re a few steps away from launching a sandbox site with the redefined MVP (minimum viable product) feature set, one that we believe works with a broader context. More on that soon.

Sidenote: Cojiro differs in nature from other Innovation projects in that it’s about building tools as opposed to content. This isn’t something we really knew how to do before this project started and sometimes it felt like we’d bitten off more than we could chew.

Channeling a grandiose vision into software specs – and software that we could build and maintain, at that – has proved to be quite an adventure. During this time, Chris has become an awesome engineer and I’ve gotten a ton of experience designing digital products through other channels.

If any GVer reading this post has an idea for a tool that they want to build, feel free reach out to us, even if you aren’t going to do the development yourself. We’d love to share insight from this project – all the good stuff we learned the hard way.

Lingua Airwaves – October Update

The first phase of the Lingua Airwaves Project with Global Voices Aymara is almost complete. A team of five volunteers with the help of the radio journalist Norma Barrancos recorded eleven podcasts that consisted of summaries of translations of Global Voices posts. The idea of creating summaries came from the fact that the content is targeted at a local audience in El Alto, Bolivia that may not be as familiar with all of the elements that make up a normal Global Voices stories. Together with the help of Norma, the team created scripts that explained the topic and added different audio elements, such as different voices to narrate some of the citizen media quotes and other music to accompany the piece.

We’re currently in the process of editing the eleven clips with adding a short introduction by Victoria. The clip below is one of the finished audio clips that pulls together this introduction followed by the story content. For those of you that may not understand Aymara, if you listen at 0:43 at the clip below, you can hear a mention of “Global Voices” and Victoria explains to the audience that the story is comprised of citizen media content from around the world and translated by a volunteer team of translators.

(We will be adding more information such as a link to the corresponding translation and information about the narrators)

One of the major hurdles during this first phase was the unfamiliarity with the new recording equipment. Norma is an experienced journalist much more comfortable with her audio equipment that she has been using for years, and using a new piece of equipment was, in her own words, “intimidating.” So for the first round of recordings, she did not use the new Olympus recorders and we all acknowledge that the sound quality is not what it could be. The task of putting together the scripts and working with the translators was deemed to be the priority during the first part of the project

However, during the second week of October, we had an intensive training together with Victoria and Norma in the use of the new equipment. We are happy to report that Norma and Victoria feel much more confident in the use of the higher quality digital audio recorder and will use it for the next round of recordings.

Norma Barrancos practicing with the new digital audio recorders by interviewing Victoria Tinta

Norma Barrancos practicing with the new digital audio recorders by interviewing Victoria Tinta

Next up: distribution strategies and the airing of the clips on the radio.

New update on the video project

Hi! once again a long time without updating you on our project. But better late than never..

Video for Change and Video Activo Awards Ceremony.

Video for Change and Video Activo Awards Ceremony.

We have now online 4 videos specially created for the project, and a contest running, well, in reality coming to an end… the awards ceremony (yes we will have one!) will be this saturday Sep, 7, as a part of the Video for Change event in Mexico DF. Thanks to our friends of SocialTic for hosting us!

After the competition has finished we will resume coordinations to have new videos for the project. We are interested in videos from Chile, Paraguay, Nicaragua, countries where we have had no participation at all. But also from Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay, whose involvement has been minimum.

These days have been very active in our facebook page, where people are voting for their favourite video on the contest. The video that collects more likes, will have a special prize, consisting of a kit of books on info-activism, courtesy, again, from our friends of SocialTic.

You can vote too, just click in this photo album and take a look to the participating videos. Each photo has a link to the video so you can see all the videos from there.


Global Voices Aymara – Radio Demo

Here is a SoundCloud recording of an early demo of the Lingua Airwaves project, where members of the GV Aymara community have been teaming up with a local Aymara journalist to record adapted versions of the GV Aymara translations. The idea is to produce small clips that can be played on the radio, and also edit them together for a longer audio podcast.

In this recording, GV Aymara Editor Victoria Tinta reports on the post – “Workshop: Digital Media for Endangered Languages in Latin America

The team is still fine tuning the format, as well as learning how to better use the new digital audio recorders.

More demos will be posted soon.

GV in Your Community – August Update

The “GV in Your Community” innovation grant is underway with some exciting news. As you may recall, the project calls for six in-person meet-ups and six virtual Hangouts as a way to build stronger ties with our readers, microgrant applicants, and others that might be interested in meeting our community.

Earlier this year, we announced the initiative on the GV Community list, and received an outpouring of interest from GVers eager to take part. Some offered to host a meet-up, develop the program/agenda, or help out any way that they could.

The first step was to decide where the six in-person meet-ups will take place. There were several factors that were given high priority in making this selection.

1.) Strong GV Presence – We decided that it would be best that each site should have a team of two primary coordinators responsible for the organizing and logistics of the meet-up, as a way to share responsibility. We also searched for GVers that may have attended at least one GV Summit in the past, since it would demonstrated that he or she is active in the community and can convey the benefits of getting to know one another in a physical setting. While there will be two primary coordinators at each site, other GVers in that location may also want to get involve in some capacity.

2.) Demonstrated Need – As mentioned in the original Innovation Grant proposal, we want to address the fact that we have received nearly 2700 microgrant applications over the past three years. Unfortunately, we have only been able to fund 16 during that period. So to also help determine where the first six meet-ups would be held, we took a look at the number of applicants from each region and country. However, it will not be a requirement for attendance that he/she applied for a RV microgrant, but they will be given high priority.

3.) Geographic and Linguistic Diversity – Balance among the regions and in various languages

So considering a combination of these factors, we are pleased to announce the six confirmed sites and their coordinating team:

    Kampala, Uganda: Maureen Agena and Rosebell Kagumire
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Sopheap Chak and Ramana Sorn
    Skopje, Macedonia: Elena Ignatova and Filip Stojanovski
    Kirachi, Pakistan: Sana Saleem and Faisal Kapadia
    Cairo, Egypt: Mohamed El Gohary and Tarek Amr
    Maputo, Mozambique: Sara Moreira and @Verdade

These six meet-ups will take place between September and November. Watch for further details about exact dates. You may notice that Latin America is not listed on the first six sites. Part of that reason is because of Rising Voices’ earlier activities with the Conectándonos events in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Perú. Other cities/countries were considered a higher priority for this first round.

As also mentioned in the original proposal, we are approaching this as a pilot project to see what works and what does not work. That way, we can help develop a curriculum/program that may be used by other GVers who want to organize something locally and have the experience from the six teams listed above. Already there are GVers who have expressed an interest in the next round, such as Mac-Jordan from Accra.

The virtual meet-ups are still in development. As many of us have noted, the use of Google Hangout is not an exact science. So we are still experimenting and finding the best way to organize. We are happy to note that Jeremy Clarke has graciously agreed to run one of these virtual Hangouts about the use of WordPress.

Additional assistance with the virtual component of this project is especially needed.

Lingua Airwaves – June Update

The Lingua Airwaves Project funded by the GV Innovation Grant kicked off its activities with two meetings in El Alto, Bolivia on June 8 and 15. Attended by translators and editors from Global Voices Aymara, they were joined by a new addition to the project team.

Members of GV Aymara at the first Lingua Airwaves project meeting.

Members of GV Aymara at the first Lingua Airwaves project meeting.

Norma Barrancos Leyva is a radio journalist at the San Gabriel Radio in El Alto, Bolivia, which has become a partner in the exchange of headline widgets. Her daily magazine-style radio program in the Aymara language is an important source of news and local happenings for the city of El Alto. She also participated in Rising Voices’ “Conectándonos” gathering in Cochabamba in January 2013. She is well-known in Bolivia for having participated in an internship at the BBC Studios in London representing indigenous journalists

She agreed to be a part of the project and provide her expertise on creating content for the radio. In addition to helping create scripts for the radio, she will advise the team on proper on-air voice techniques.

At the first meeting, the team discussed possible formats for the GV Aymara articles that would be adapted for the radio and audio podcasts. It was decided that the translation articles could not be directly read and recorded because much of the context is contained in the hyperlinks, and they are written for people that understand that the cited quotes are from bloggers.

Discussing formats for adapting GV translations.

Discussing formats for adapting GV translations.

Another important factor that was discussed is the composition of the audience. The majority of listeners of radio stations in El Alto are not as familiar with global issues in comparison to regular GV readers. This will be another issue to keep in mind as the news is adapted for this audience. It is also important to attempt to relate the subject matter to the audience and make it easier to understand within the context of the voices from citizens on the web.

Before the 2nd meeting, it was learned that the Director at the radio station that had approved the collaborative project had left for another job. This may alter the plans to work directly with that radio station because he was a key ally in the project. We will wait to see if another director will be as open to the partnership. However, it was decided that the audio formatting and recording element to the project will proceed as originally planned. Alternatives to that particular radio station will be explored, not only in Bolivia, but also Peru and Chile where Aymara is spoken.

As part of the grant, the first set of digital audio recorders were purchased. We will be using the Olympus LS-10S along with a Sony ECM-MS907 external microphone.

For the next meeting, the team is selecting potential articles that can be adapted for the radio and audio podcasts. It was determined that the ideal story would be from Bolivia or Latin America, where more listeners would already be familiar with the subject matter, as well as other articles that are not time-sensitive related to current news events.

GV Books is branching out…

Yes, in mid-February 2013 we opened accounts on some open access, sharing and popular platforms: the Internet Archive, Scribd, Issuu. We set up a nice profile and uploaded our two e-books in their various translations. Here below are basic statistics about reads & downloads after the first two weeks, along with some less accurate figures (for technical reasons) from the GV Books website (which received more than 500 visits since its inception on May 30, 2012).

GV Books:
– “EU in crisis” dwnlds in english: 40 pdf + 5 epub + 4 mobi
– “African Voices…” dwnlds in english: 22 pdf + 3 epub + 2 mobi

Internet Archive:
– “EU in crisis” (pdf): 11 dwnlds in english, 16 in arabic, 7 in spanish, 5 in italian, 5 in portuguese;
– “African Voices…” (pdf): 9 dwnlds in english, 7 in italian

– “EU in crisis”: 167 reads (+ 3 readcasts, 19 dwnlds) in english, 144 in arabic, 66 (+ 4 readcasts, 3 dwnlds) in italian, 50 (+ 1 dwnld) in portuguese, 29 (+ 1 readcast, 1 dwnld) in spanish
– “African Voices…”: 178 reads (+ 2 readcasts, 12 embed views, 1 dwnld) in english, 102 reads in italian

– “EU in crisis”: 7 impressions in english, 24 in arabic, 5 in italian, 3 in portuguese, 2 in spanish
– “African Voices…”: 38 in english, 4 in italian.

New e-book published!

As promised, on December 19, 2012, we launched our second e-book: “African voices of hope and change: a collection of 13 best posts (plus an original & broad introduction) from 2012 GV coverage of Sub-Saharan countries. It turned out a lovely and collaborative project indeed! Also underway is the Portuguese edition of our first e-book (EU in crisis), after the Italian, Arabic and Spanish versions — French will follow soon.