The BOBs: Best Weblog goes to ‘Ushahidi’ from Kenya | Press Releases | DW | 19.04.2010
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Press Releases

The BOBs: Best Weblog goes to ‘Ushahidi’ from Kenya

Deutsche Welle announces the winners of its international weblog awards. “Talk Morocco” named Best English Weblog. Prizes will be awarded at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in June in Bonn, Germany

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The blog and software platform “Ushahidi” (testimony) has been chosen as the Best Weblog at The BOBs – Deutsche Welle’s international blog awards. Ushahidi was developed jointly by American and African team members to collect and compile information from users worldwide on conflict and catastrophe regions. The site’s developers created a platform they call Ushahidi to display the information on an interactive map.

The website was first used in 2008 to track the violent aftermath of presidential elections in Kenya. Since then, users in many countries have adopted the open source software, including as a way to track earthquake victims this year in Haiti. The BOBs jury stated that the Ushahidi project offers people an efficient and easy to use instrument that creates transparency in a variety of crisis situations.

Deutsche Welle announced the prize winners of its sixth annual BOBs competition on Thursday, April 15, 2010 in the course of the re:publica social media convention in Berlin. The prizes are awarded in six categories and 11 different languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The winning authors will be awarded their prizes at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on June 22, 2010 in Bonn, Germany.

The Best English Weblog award also went to an African blog called “Talk Morocco,” authored and edited by multiple people. “Talk Morocco” serves as a forum for open debate and discussion on social issues facing Morocco and the Diaspora.

This year, The BOBs also offered an award for the best blog on climate change. For the award, the jury chose “Coluna Zero,” produced by a group of young Brazilian bloggers and headed by Bruno Rezende. The bloggers travel throughout Brazil to research their entries and present what they find in an easygoing, entertaining fashion – often by using creative videoblog entries. The blog’s central themes are the environment, ecology and responsible consumption. Media coverage of climate change will also be the theme at Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum this summer.

The award for Best Videoblog went to “Mr. Freeman,” a Russian blog featuring monologues by an animated figure called Mr. Freeman. The blog’s author has thus far worked anonymously.

For Best Podcast, the jury chose “Cajun French Language Tutorials” by US resident James Leger. The author creates entries that help his listeners learn to speak French the way it was spoken in Louisiana during the early 19th century.

“We are Journalists” by Zhila Bani Jaghob won the Reporters without Borders Prize. “The prize should honor her outstanding commitment to freedom of speech. She is one of the few critical journalists still working in Iran,” explained the jury. The journalist and women’s rights activist was arrested for the third time following last year’s elections but released 70 days later. Her husband, who is also a journalist, was sentenced to seven years in jail.

The 12-member jury consisted of journalists, media experts and bloggers from 11 countries, including Michael Anti (Zhao Jing) from the People’s Republic of China and Farnaz Seifi, an Iranian journalist now living in exile in the Netherlands.

Blog awards established internationally

Users from around the world generated more than 8,400 suggestions for this year’s 17 prizes. During a pre-selection round, the jury nominated 187 candidates. Alongside the jury’s decisions, users could vote for their favorite blogs online during a four-week period. The user’s choice award went to Osama Romoh, a Jordanian blogger who writes critical reports on the social issues and developments in his country.

Partners

Premium partners of the BOBs are: Reporters without Borders and the re:publica conference. Media partners are: 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 und Zeit Online.

WWW links