For the 12th time, DW issues the call for entries to its contest The Bobs. The awards honor exemplary efforts to promote online freedom of expression and civil society. DW is also awarding the Freedom of Speech Award.
From February 4 to March 3, people around the world are invited to submit websites and online initiatives to the online activism competition in four categories and 14 languages at thebobs.com. The Bobs are highly renowned for their international focus and made unique by the scope of languages they represent.
The Social Change category honors projects that use a range of digital advances to have a positive influence on the world and strive to improve it in areas such as education, equality, health and the environment.
The Tech for Good category shines a spotlight on technical innovations and websites dealing with data protection, open software, online security and circumventing censorship.
The Arts and Culture category pays tribute to artistic and cultural projects which do an exceptional job of using digital communications to convey their interpretation of socially relevant issues.
The award in the Citizen Journalism category gives particular attention to projects and websites that take advantage of all forms of online participation.
Additionally, DW will give out its Freedom of Speech Award for the second time. Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi received the prize in 2015.
"Across language and cultural barriers, we appreciate the people’s creativity and their brave work for freedom of expression and an open society," said DW Director of Programming Gerda Meuer. "This work deserves to be shared with the world."
14 jury members from 14 countries decide on shortlist
After March 3, an independent panel from 14 countries will evaluate the submitted projects. From the many submissions (last year there were more than 4,800) jury members will create a list of nominees. Deutsche Welle will publish a list of all the nominees on March 31. The jury will announce this year's contest winners in Berlin on May 2, just ahead of World Press Freedom Day.
International voting determines User Award winners
Independent of the jury, the online public will be able to vote for their favorite finalists at thebobs.com from March 31 to May 2. In the past, more than 120,000 people participated in the poll. The main prize winners will be honored at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany, on June 14.
Past winners of The Bobs include Yoani Sánchez (Cuba), Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia), Ushahidi (Kenya), The Sunlight Foundation (USA), Li Chengpeng (China) and Alaa Abd El-Fattah (Egypt).
The Bobs media partners are: Somewhere in, bdnews24.com, Banglatribune, China Digital Times, Ifex, Global Voices, Waza, Satyagrah, Webdunia, Gooya, Hromadske TV, Novoye Vremya, Medyatava.