The Bobs, initiated by the Deutsche Welle in 2004, honors online projects by journalists, artists and scientists that promote the freedom of expression, the exchange of ideas and human rights activism.
Applicable for the Bobs are websites, apps, instagram accounts, facebook pages and other online projects in 14 languages. A jury narrows down the applications to five finalists for each language and 14 finalists for each of the four special, multilingual categories: Social Change, Tech for Good, Arts and Culture and Citizen Journalism. Then the polls are opened for people to vote for their favorites in all the Bob’s categories. The Bobs are the only global, international award honoring creative and brave projects online that cross language and cultural barriers and thereby showcases the best of what the ever-expanding World Wide Web has to offer.
At the GMF 2016 Julia Bernstorf, DW Deputy Director of Innovative Programming, said: "Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential for democracy. Civil society needs human rights to be strong and powerful."
Bengali photojournalist Shahidul Alam has been a driving force behind many firsts for his country: first picture agency, first photography school, first online portal, first e-mail network. Most recently he was a juror at The Bobs awards for online activism, put on by Deutsche Welle.