The moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived – here are the winners of The Bobs 2013.
The 15-member jury of bloggers and online activists engaged in two days of passionate discussions to name the winners of The Bobs’ six Jury Awards in the multilingual categories.
But jury members are not the only ones with accolades to hand out. Our thanks go out to all of you engaged Internet users who voted in our online poll. You cast over 94,000 ballots to decide the winners of the Users’ Choice awards in all 34 categories.
This year’s top honors in the Best Blog category went to Chinese columnist, author, blogger and microblogger Li Chengpeng for his blog 李承鹏博客. Extremely popular among young people, as seen by the more than 7 million people who follow him in Sina Weibo, Li Chengpeng has become a symbol of China’s anti-censorship movement. While on a book tour, authorities feared his massive fan base would turn book signings into political protests and forbid Li Chengpeng from speaking to fans. Instead he unveiled a t-shirt that read “I love you all” as a way of expressing his thanks and wore a surgical mask – both of which became symbols of protest for millions of people in China.
“He is an example for the younger generation and encourages them to get involved and stand up against censorship,” Chinese jury member and blogger Hu Yong said.
Best Social Activism
The Moroccan initiative 475 won jury honors in the Best Social Activism category. The project is named after a part of Moroccan law that allows rapists to avoid punishment by marrying their victims. The campaign started after 16-year-old Amina committed suicide after being forcibly married to the man who raped her. “The award went to the Moroccan initiative but beyond that I think the problem of violence against women and rape is everywhere – in India, we’ve heard about it, in Bangladesh in Southeast Asia, in South America,” French jury member Claire Ulrich said. “Here we see that in the attempt to deal justice it’s the women – usually teenage girls who end up paying the price for someone else’s crimes.”
FreeWeibo.com, the winner in the Best Innovation category, exposes what the Chinese government censors on Sina Weibo. FreeWeibo gives users unfettered access to the country’s popular social network while saving and showing the posts deleted by government censors. “Systematic censorship is one of the biggest problems in modern China,” Hu said. “Only by making it visible can people also do something against it.”
Reporters Without Borders Award
The Bobs’ partnership with the rights group Reporters Without Borders continued with a special award for blogs and online projects that take promote freedom of expression. This year’s award went to Fabbi Kouassi, a blogger and activist in Togo. She uses her blog to report on police violence against journalists in the country, which tends to get very little coverage in international media. “Fabbi defends freedom of expression in an impressive way and draws attention to the precarious situation journalists face in Togo,” said Christian Mihr, the head of Reporters Without Borders in Germany.
Global Media Forum Award
The challenges of the global economy will be the focus of this year’s Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum from June 17-19 in Bonn. This year The Bobs’ special category for the conference looked at the ways bloggers address the economy. The Bangladeshi project Infolady won the jury members’ award. The project equips women with a bike and a mobile phone capable of connecting to the Internet, they ride to rural areas to answer peoples’ questions regarding health, agriculture and development. As few doctors ever travel to the regions infoladies regularly visit, the women are often the only form of medical advice available and when they get stuck on a case they can call a team of experts ready to assist them wherever they may be. “It’s a revolutionary project that helps get life-saving information to the poorest people in Bangladesh,” Bengali jury member Shahidul Alam said.
Most Creative & Original
What little bits of information do you leave behind when you go online? That’s the question the project Me and My Shadow looks to answer. The site takes an entertaining approach to informing people on the traces they’re leaving behind when they shop, surf and post on the Internet. It also offers tips on how to change privacy settings to let out less information. “Me and My Shadow presents in very playful and visually compelling way a means of allowing online users to see the digital traces that they leave through their online activities – and offers easy solutions to fixing them,” said English jury member Georgia Popplewell.
Congratulations to all of the winners!
The six winners of The Bobs’ 2013 Jury Awards will be invited to an award ceremony on June 18, 2013, in Bonn, Germany, as part of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn.
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