Global Voices is pleased to announce the 2012 Breaking Borders Award winners!
Today, at the biannual Global Voices Citizen Media summit, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2nd Breaking Borders Award of $10,000 each.
The award by Google and Global Voices honors people who have made a significant impact in their communities to defend and promote freedom of speech rights on the internet. The 2012 winners were selected by the board of Global Voices, and come from two regions in the world where free speech is often threatened — North Africa and Central Europe.
This year, the award nominee projects were drawn from the extended Global Voices community around the world. Any project staffed or founded by any of the thousands of people who have contributed to Global Voices in the past was open for nomination. Our two winners are both young, volunteer organizations that are started by local communities to articulate rights, including/especially speech rights, and exemplify the kind of local activism, drive, and volunteer spirit that animates Global Voices.
In both cases, the award resources will have significant impact on their ability to make an impact.
“Mamfakinch means “”We won't give up”” in Moroccan dialect. It was born in the wake of the street protests in Morocco. It is a website managed by a group of Moroccan young pro-democracy activists who work at aggregating, curating and disseminating citizen media material related to the grassroots movement for democratic change in Morocco. It is the first and by far the most popular citizen media portal today in Morocco. Mamfakinch has become, in less than a year, a leading citizen platform with more than a million unique visitors who have logged into its blogging platform in the past 12 months, and thousands of followers in social networking sites. It is often cited by mainstream media and its content disseminated across the Moroccan web and traditional media platforms. It has, on the other hand, sustained multiple attacks from pro-regime groups keen at silencing it.
Mamfakinch is run by volunteers who speak French and English, in addition to Arabic and Tamazight (Berber). One of its co-founders is volunteer Global Voices author Hisham Almiraat.
Atlatszo.hu supports free speech and media rights group in Hungary. Their role is to call to account government officials who have been misusing public money and influence to push self-censorship among Hungarian journalists. Unfortunately, self-censorship is enhanced by threatening policies. Atlatszo.hu now focuses on supporting freedom of expression by pushing for better media laws and policy. They fought for the protection of journalistic sources and plan to start a legal clinic to support freedom of information requests and other legal tactics that support press freedom. Most of Atlatszo.hu's team are volunteers, including Marietta Le, a Global Voices volunteer author who covers Hungary and was formerly the editor of Global Voices in Hungarian.
Congratulations to the winners!
In 2010, the Breaking Borders Awards were won by Kubatana.net in Zimbabwe, The Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism, and Bosco in Uganda.