The nominations for The Bobs 2016 have been announced. Users can now vote for who they think should be recognized as the best in online activism. Voting ends May 2.
After receiving over 2,300 submissions to The Bobs 2016, this year's international jury narrowed the field to 126 finalists. The nominations consist of five finalists for the award's 14 languages and 14 finalists for each of the four special, multilingual categories: Social Change, Tech for Good, Arts and Culture and Citizen Journalism.
Starting Thursday, users are can vote for their favorite website, app, person or project at thebobs.com. The top vote-getters will win The Bobs 2016 User Awards. A panel of expert jury members will also meet in Berlin to determine the recipients of the Jury Awards in the four special, multilingual categories.
"We congratulate all of the people and projects who have been nominated for The Bobs 2016. It is an honor to recognize so many selfless and hard-working people toiling on the front lines of social change and freedom of expression," said Julia Bernstorf, DW's deputy head of Innovative Programming.
12 years of The Bobs
Deutsche Welle and The Bobs have recognized the people who epitomize the organizations' ideals of free speech and online activism for 12 years. 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).
Rafida Bonya Ahmed from Bangladesh, the Editor of Bonya’s Blog, winner of The Bobs Social Change Award 2015
"There are a number of awards that recognize achievements in freedom of speech, human rights activism, traditional journalism and technology, but there's no other awards program I can think of that has a similar breadth and scope," said Georgia Popplewell, the English jury member and managing director of Global Voices.
"The flexibility with which The Bobs has shifted and adjusted to accommodate the rapid changes that have taken place in the online space is also something quite special," she added.
How to vote
This year's Jury Award winners will be invited to an award ceremony as part of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on June 14 in Bonn, Germany. All the winners of The Bobs 2016 will be announced on May 2.