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February 21 2014

February 14 2014

GV Face: This Valentine's Day, Love and Courtship Across Borders

Happy Valentine's Day! This February 14 we are talking about love and courtship around the world. 

We'll be sharing stories from the Global Voices community, including a lovely tale first-hand account from the couple Sylwia Presley and Dan Braghis who met through Global Voices, a daughter who told her father she got married via text message, and a story of modern love with a traditional twist  from Pakistan.

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January 31 2014

GV Face: Social Media and the Meteoric Rise of India's Aam Aadmi Party

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP ) –  or Common Man's Party – led by anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal, is challenging India's mainstream parties. 

The AAP won big in the recent Delhi Assembly poll and has partnered with the Congress party to form a government in Delhi with Kejriwal as its chief minister.

Two parties dominate India’s politics: the Congress, which has ruled with its coalition partners for two terms and relies on rural voters; and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu nationalist group that last ruled the nation in 2004. Will AAP disrupt India's long-standing two-party politics in the upcoming May elections?

This Friday I discuss the role of social media in AAP's meteoric rise with GV authors Chirag Sutar and Manasi Gopalakrishnan.

Chirag (@sutarcv) is originally from India but now lives in the Netherlands where he completed his Masters in Media Studies in Erasmus University, Rotterdam. He worked as a media journalist in India for three years.

Manasi Gopalakrishnan is a freelance journalist working with Germany's international broadcaster, the DW in Bonn, Germany. She writes and edits the blog and also works for DW's Hindi service.

Thumbnail image: Celebrations outside AAP headquarters in New Delhi after successful polling results. Image by Louis Dowse. Copyright Demotix (8/12/2013)


January 24 2014

GV Face: Live from the Arab Bloggers Meeting #AB14

In this special edition of GV Face, GV veterans and colleagues join us live from Amman, Jordan, where nearly 80 bloggers and activists from throughout the Arab region came together this week for the Fourth Arab Bloggers Meeting. After four days of training and discussion between bloggers, activists, musicians, rappers, teachers and scholars from across the region, there's plenty to talk about. 

GVers Advox Director Hisham Almiraat, GV MENA Region Editor Amira Al Hussaini, SMEX Co-Director Mohammed Najem and Berkman Fellow Dalia Othman share with us their insights from this remarkable event. 

Learn more about the meeting and read blog posts from throughout the week (in English and Arabic) on the #AB14 website:

January 17 2014

GV Face: Bangkok Shutdown and the Way Forward

Tens of thousands filled the major intersections of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand this week, as opposition groups intensified their bid to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The protest led by former lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban aims to ‘shutdown’ Bangkok for several days or until Yingluck is removed from power.

Yingluck is accused of being a puppet of her elder brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was ousted by a coup in 2006 but his party has remained victorious in the polls. He is in exile after being found guilty of plunder by a local court.

In this episode of GV Face we speak to Saksith Saiyasombut, a Thai political analyst and journalist based in Germany, our Thailand author Aim Sinpeng and SE Asia Editor Mong Palatino.

December 27 2013

GV Face: The News Cycle is Broken. Can Solutions Journalism Fix it?

Violent Conflict Erupts in South Sudan. Protesters Beaten, Arrested in Egypt. Communities Destroyed by Typhoon in Philippines. These are stories we believe are important. But what if it is all just too depressing?

At Global Voices, we are committed to shining light on the stories of people around the world. Like any media organization, we often focus on news of violence, political corruption and environmental disaster — we feel tremendous compassion for people facing these hardships and want their stories to be heard. But there are times when even the team at GV would rather curl up with BuzzFeed's “40 Most Awkward Cats of 2013″ than read grim tales from around the globe. As these kinds of stories flood daily news feeds, the world can seem like a pretty bad place. It can even make us feel helpless. But maybe it doesn't have to.

What if the news could empower us to become more active citizens, to actually have an impact on the world? Is there a way to tell stories about events in the world, whether good or bad, where we can see stories in a positive light or offer readers ways to have an impact on difficult situations, even if they're happening halfway across the world?

This week, we bid farewell to 2013 with an in-house edition of GVFace. GV co-founder Ethan Zuckerman and GV newsroom lead editors Solana Larsen and Sahar Habib Ghazi will talk with GV Advocacy Editor Ellery Roberts Biddle about the concept of “solutions journalism” and “good news”. We'll discuss solutions journalism as it relates to traditional approaches to news coverage, changes in the media landscape, and our own practices here at GV. And we'll look at a few ways that news can not only inform but empower us to as citizens of the world and the Internet.

Additional Reading

The psychological impact of negative TV news bulletins
The Evening's Bad News: Effects of Compelling Negative Television News Images on Memory

Ethan's blog: Saving the News with Advocacy Journalism
Innovating News Journalism through Positive Psychology
Solutions Journalism Can Change the World
Why We Need Solutions Journalism
News Doesn't Reflect the Real World
A New Mainstream Solutions Journalism
Solutions Journalism: What it is and what it is not

December 20 2013

Unconditional Basic Income for All Europeans

A movement to give every citizen “unconditional basic income”—no work required—is gathering speed in Europe. 

For the last 11 months,  the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)  has been spearheading a one-year campaign to gather a million signatures that support “Unconditional Basic Income (UBI)” for all Europeans.

The ECI wants everyone to have a basic, guaranteed wage, which is enough to cover day-to-day expenses.

If they collect one million signatures reaching the minimum requirement from at least 7 European Union (EU) member countries by January 14 2014, the European Commission will have to examine their initiative and arrange for a public hearing at the European Parliament.

In the short term, they want to do some “pilot-studies” and examine different models of UBI. In the long run, their objective is to offer to each person in the EU the unconditional right as an individual, to have their material needs met to ensure a life of dignity by the introduction of the UBI.

The Basic Income proposal is being presented by citizens from 15 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom).

This Friday on GV Face I speak to activists gathering signatures and raising awareness about the need for Basic Income. 

Stanislas Jourdan | Main coordinator for European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income in France

Martin Jordö | Main coordinator forEuropean Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income in Sweden

Carlos Arias| Global Voices Contributor in Spain

Anne-Béatrice Duparc | Switzerland

Barb Jacobson | UK

I asked them about developments in the campaign so far, how UBI would tackle inequality and how much such a scheme might cost.

For more information check out the Basic Income EU website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Here's a link to our Google + event page for this episode of GV Face.  

December 06 2013

#GVMeetup: Recreating the Virtual Global Voices World for Real Audiences

You've been reading their stories and have been following them on Twitter for years, but have you ever met the Global Voices authors and translators covering your countries?

This winter we launched our first official global in-person ‘meetups’ led and facilitated by Global Voices members, who live and know those local communities in six countries. 

And we are already half-way through!

They will be sharing their experiences of bringing the virtual Global Voices mission, energy and love to very real offline audiences in their countries.

In Karachi, Kampala, Cairo and Skopje dozens of participants have already met GV members who facilitated peer learning and knowledge sharing in the field of citizen media. And #GVMeetup facilitators are getting ready to woe audiences in Porto and Phnom Penh next!

More information on our Google + event page.



November 22 2013

GV Face: Students Occupy Bulgaria's Future

Bulgarian students have occupied key universities in their country, bringing academic activities to a resounding halt for the last few weeks. Their revolt is part of larger anti-government protests that have rocked the country since June, with demands that the government resign because of widespread poverty and corruption.This Friday on GV Face we talk about the future of Bulgaria's protests with our Bulgaria authors Rayna St (@MaliciaRogue), Nevena Borisova and Ruslan Trad (@ruslantrad) along with our Central and Eastern European Editor Danica Radisic (@NikiBGD).

The organizers of the latest spontaneous occupation pledged they wouldn't meddle with any political force in the country. Their blockade began when a group of indignant students occupied the largest lecture hall at the the oldest and most prestigious university in capital city Sofia.

The desperation of many Bulgarians has been marked by a series of self-immolations since the start of the year. At least nine people have burnt themselves to death.

On November 10, thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets to mark the 150th day of anti-government demonstrations, chanting “resign,” “mafia” and “shame on you” as they passed parliament.

Hangout participants:

Rayna is a PhD and research fellow at Paris Descartes University, a self-described geek and DIYbio hacker, working to achieve gender equality in science and tech. She's also an Editor for Global Voices Bulgarian, and a board member of the French chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation.Ruslan is a Syrian-Bulgarian blogger. He's the founder of @arabculture and co-founder of Global Voices in Bulgarian.

Nevena has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, from Sofia University, and has studied Sociology as a second university program. She worked as an international News Editor at the Bulgarian Information Agency Focus for two years and as an editor and screenwriter at the Bulgarian National Television for two years. She is currently doing two Master’s degrees in Literature, Cinema and Visual Culture, and in Human Resources Development.

Danica is our Central and Eastern Europe Editor. She's speaks Serbian, English and Portuguese fluently. A Serbian native, she was born and raised on the Iberian Peninsula, with some time spent in the Middle East and US.
Reposted bycheg00 cheg00

November 15 2013

GV Face: Helping Haiyan Survivors in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in recorded history, has killed thousands in central Philippines.

According to our local authors many more are stranded, without food, water and aid, in a wasteland that used to be their homes. Aid is simply not arriving quickly enough to these communities that survived Haiyan, locally referred to as Yolanda.

A week after the super typhoon hit the provinces of Leyte and Samar, in the Visayas islands, we'll be talking to our Philippine authors and an aid worker about how the country is coping with the disaster, the progress in rescue operations, and what we – the concerned international community – can do to help.

Our South East Asia Editor Mong Palatino (@mongster) joins us from Manila, along with activist and video journalist Chantal Eco (@chantaleco), who is coordinating relief efforts in Manila for her native Leyte.

Some highlight from the conversation:

Mong Palatino (05:00 – 07:30):

The night before the storm hit the Philippines, the President came on live TV and promised zero casualties. He warned the public about the storm but he said the government was prepared and said his target was zero casualties. The 10,000 death report, came from a local police official, who has now been relieved from duty because of the estimate he gave. The President soon downgraded his estimate to 2,000. And then other officials said it was 4,000. Regardless whether the official estimate is 2,000, 4,000 or 10,000. The number of casualties could rise, because we do not know the situation in many areas. 

The Typhoon hit some of the poorest areas of the Philippines, most of these residents are farmers or fisherfolk, the poorest strata of the Philippines. Many of the these people still remain unreachable because of ruined roads and because of the remoteness of these places. So it is safe to say that the causalities really could reach more than 10,000. If not, definitely this disaster is the worst to hit the Philippines, despite this region being battered by so many storms every year, this is the worst disaster in terms of casualties and the amount of devastation it caused and the heavy effort that will be used to rehabilitate the affected towns. 

Chantal Eco (14:14 – 15:00)

For those that have families outside Tacloban (ground-zero of the disaster) and the affected areas, those that were brave enough, those that had the resources, they travelled to the affected areas in Tacloban to check on people, and collected names of the survivors and posted their information online just to calm their families trying to locate them.

Our colleagues in Tacloban regularly update us via SMS, because Internet is down in most areas and mobile connection is patchy.

The local government of Tacloban has set up a booth in a town hall (with Internet through Satellite phone) where people can call to let their loved ones know they are OK and post status messages on Facebook, everyone is given one minute on Facebook. 

Mong (19:00 – 21:00):

This is what they refer to as climate injustice. Our contribution to global pollution is extremely low, but we are one of the most vulnerable in terms of the harsh impact of climate change… Every year we are visited by more than 20 typhoons, many of which are disastrous, in fact the world's deadliest disaster in 2012 took place in the Philippines in the Mandalay Island the Southern part of the Philippines. This year the Central Philippines is hit, what is really tragic hear is Visayas was recently also hit by a powerful earthquake, which we reported on Global Voices. While we are recovering from the deadly impact of the earthquake, we are hit by this super typhoon, which triggered a storm surge. We were not prepared for the storm surge… some people say if they were warned of a tsunami they would have gone to a higher evacuation center. So the lesson here is that climate change is very real for Filipinos, especially its harsh impact. It's a wake up call for the international community to be more aggressive in tackling this problem because it is causing unnecessary deaths and so much devastation in small island groups like the  Philippines.

Chantal (21:10 – 23:00)

We are calling for help for the people of the provinces of Leyte and Samar, in the western part of the Visayas islands,especially those from remote areas…based on experiences when there are typhoons and disaster when we receive aid from the government clearly our government can not address the scale of the disaster. After the relief stage we need to rebuild the communities. Especially the fisher folk communities, along the shore line which were wiped out by the storm surge Many communities were wiped out because of the storm surge, they need help to rebuild their lives, livelihood, materials to rebuild their homes and boats so they can continue living on.

Also see Haiyan Devastates the Philippines, our special coverage page.

November 08 2013

GV Face: Dreams of US Immigration Reform

“Time Is Now” Immigration Reform Rally in Washington, DC (April 10, 2013). By David Sachs/SEIU (CC BY-NC-SA)

Is immigration reform just a dream?

Millions have emigrated to the US, for family, opportunity or in the pursuit of a better life. Today, there are 40 million immigrants in the United States, of which an estimated 11 million, live and work without legal status. Fear of deportation drives many to live in the shadows, making them vulnerable to violations of basic rights protected under US and international law.

In this week's GV Face, l talk to activists and experts about the movement for immigration reform, and discuss what the proposed reform could mean for the daily lives of millions of immigrants.

Activist Marisol Ramos talks to us about the various youth immigrant movements offline and online.

Alfonso González author of Reform Without Justice and editorial committee member of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) questions whether guest worker programs can solve the deadlock over immigration.

Global Voices author Robert Valencia talks about the various times reform seemed within reach but then got sent to the back burner.

Global Voices Managing Editor Solana Larsen will be leading the discussion.

Read our Special Coverage page Migrant Journeys for background (in partnership with NACLA).

October 25 2013

GV Face: Everything You Need to Know About #SudanRevolts

Dozens of Sudanese activists are currently on hunger strike across the world to protest human rights violations in Sudan. Under the banner #Strike4Sudan, striking activists have been protesting in front of the White House in Washington DC since October 20. Last month the Sudanese government responded to peaceful mass protests with guns and tear gas. More than 200 protesters were killed and over 2000 arrested, some were even tortured. 

Graphic images of injured and murdered protesters spread widely through social media, telling the story of a Sudanese revolution that has been in the making since 2009. At the heart of the revolt is a nonviolent grassroots movement called Girifna, which means “We are fed up. “

This week our MENA editor Amira AlHussaini and Deputy Editor Sahar Habib Ghazi talk about #SudanRevolts with our Sudan author Usamah M, and Magdi ElGizouli, the man behind the influential blog Still Sudan, we will ask him why some are calling the ongoing protests the next Arab Spring.

Visit theGV Face: #SudanRevolts event pagefor more information.

Female activists protest the detainment of a writer named Rania. Posted on Twitter by @Girifna

October 18 2013

GV Face: Malala's Pakistan

Malala, the 16-year-old girl that survived a bullet from the Taliban and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is being celebrated for her compassion and bravery the world over. But she continues to be polarizing figure in her home country Pakistan. 

In this week's episode of GV Face, we talk about why her country feels so conflicted about Malala. We also look at the role social media has played in her fame and the spread of negative propaganda against her.

Our Deputy Editor Sahar Habib Ghazi (@saharhghazi), also a Pakistani journalist talks to activist, blogger and  GV Pakistan author Sana Saleem (@sanasaleem) and Irfan Ashraf, a Pakistan reporter who co-produced  the New York Times film, Class Dismissed, the first documentary on Malala made for an international audience in 2009.

Also, in this episode find out more about the state of education in Pakistan and  Malala's hometown Swat, a place she calls paradise on earth. Taliban's were cleared out of the Valley by the Pakistani military in 2009, but the area still struggles to educate its young, after hundreds of schools were reduced to rubble by the Taliban. Many still remain that way.  

Send us your questions about Malala, Swat, and education in Pakistan on Twitter, Facebook and on this event page. #GVFaceMalala

Further Reading:

GV Coverage of Malala. 

October 11 2013

GV Face: Fighting for an Open Internet in Brazil

Do you care about free speech on the Internet? What about your privacy online? What if your government created a law that could protect these rights, rather than threatening them?

Brazilian digital rights advocates have been working for years to pass the Marco Civil da Internet, a one-of-a-kind law that would protect key rights and freedoms on the Internet.

US government surveillance programs have brought new momentum to the issue, galvanizing support from civil society and even Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff.

This week on GV Face, our Advocacy Editor Ellery Biddle (@ellerybiddle) talks with leading experts on the issue, including GV author Raphael Tsavkko @Tsavkko, Carolina Rossini (@carolinarossini) and Joana Varon (@joana_varon) an original author of the bill.

Reposted bycheg00 cheg00

October 04 2013

GV Face: Saudi Women Will Drive

On October 26, 2013 thousands of Saudi women have vowed to defy the kingdom's ban on female driving.

In this week's edition of GV Face, we meet Jeddah-based blogger and writer Tamador Alyami, who is supporting the #Women2Drive campaign. We are also joined by Hadeel Mohammed, our Saudi Author based in Dammam and our MENA Editor Amira AlHussaini. 

We talked about the campaign, life for women in Saudi, and they activists handle naysayers like the cleric who recently said “we find that most of those who drive cars continuously deliver children with varying degrees of clinical dysfunction.”

GV Face is hosted by our Managing Editor Solana Larsen and Deputy Editor Sahar Habib Ghazi.

Also Read:

Sep 2013 Saudi Clergyman Delivers Ground-breaking Science on Why Women Shouldn't Drive
Sep 2013 October 26th: A Day for Defying Saudi Ban on Women Driving
Oct 2012 Saudi Arabia: Women2Drive Steps Up Tone; Blames Government Policies
Nov 2011 Saudi Arabia: Outrage Over 10 Lashes for Female Driver
Jun 2011 Saudi Arabia: Women Behind the Wheel 
May 2011 Saudi Arabia: Woman Arrested for Driving
May 2011 Saudi Arabia: A Woman Challenges the Law by Driving in Jeddah

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