The sixth international blogging competition – The BOBs – will feature a special prize category for climate change. Jury member Ai Weiwei: “Blogs have been the most efficient tool for the democratic movement in China”.
Deutsche Welle has officially kicked-off the sixth annual international weblog awards – The BOBs. Internet users can now nominate their picks for outstanding blogs in 11 different languages, making this the most international of all weblog awards. To participate, just go to www.thebobs.com. Nominations will be taken until February 14, 2010.
There are two new additions to The BOBs this year: a special category for weblogs and podcasts dealing with climate change and a new award for blogs in Bengali.
The BOBs’ international jury will welcome Chinese artist and blogger Ai Weiwei this year. “Blogs have been the most efficient tool for the democratic movement in China,” says Ai Weiwei. “Blogging is an extension of individual freedom, a calling for social justice.” For countries where freedom of expression is restricted, adds Weiwei, blogs offer “kind of virtual democracy”.
Over the years, The BOBs has established itself as the most important of all international weblog awards. The competition showcases the rich diversity of the global blogosphere. “We are initiating a multilingual dialogue for this form of media,” says Marc Koch, Editor-in-Chief of Deutsche Welle’s radio and online services. He pointed out that it is especially important to support bloggers in countries that have limited freedom of the press. “In many parts of the world, blogging is one of the only ways to freely express your opinion,” says Koch.
After receiving the suggestions from internet users, the jury will officially select a group of finalists. Winners will be selected from this group of finalists from March 15 to April 14 – there will be online voting and a jury selection. On April 15, winners of the best blogs and podcasts will be announced at the re:publica Internet conference in Berlin. The awards ceremony will take place at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in June 2010 in Bonn. The three-day conference will focus on climate change and the media.
Premium partners for “The BOBs” includes Reporters Without Borders and the re:publica conference. Media partners include Al Arabiya, Arabic Media Internet Network, Categorynet.com, Clarín, Detikcom, Folha Online, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano, Global Voices, Gooya, Iran-emrooz.net, Lenta.ru, Mister Wong, Radio Zamaneh, RTVE Cámara Abierta, Semana.com, Somewhere in…, TV5Monde, and Zeit Online.