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Google Supports The Citizen Media Global Innovation Competition

(Cross-posted from the Google Nonprofits Blog)

Media is an integral part of how people understand, access, and share information about the world around them. Communication channels including newspapers, television, blogs, and online videos have tremendous potential to empower and influence individuals across the globe. Yet, millions of people still face barriers that limit them from tapping into these resources. They are marginalized by political and economic situations and other limitations that deprive them of the full citizenship made possible by access to news, information, and connections to people outside of their immediate environments. That’s why we’re working with Ashoka to find and support the best, most innovative ideas out there that will help people around the world unlock the power of media and participate more fully in society.

Today marks the beginning of a new initiative run by Ashoka’s Changemakers, with support from Google, to source innovations that will boost media access and participation globally: Citizen Media: A Global Innovation Competition. What do we mean by this? Well, we’re waiting for you to tell us, but here are some initial ideas for what strong entries might hope to achieve:
  • Give voice to underserved, vulnerable populations, introducing them to media creation and distribution, and showcasing their messages
  • Equip journalists and publishers with tools or channels to report important news that otherwise gets missed
  • Advance free speech and privacy protections
  • Address the financial sustainability of quality news
  • Help people better navigate information and ascertain content reliability and authenticity
Nominate your idea or suggest another innovation starting today! Submissions are due on September 14th, and finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges including Michael Maness, VP of Journalism and Media Innovation at the Knight Foundation, Esther Wojcicki, Vice Chair for Creative Commons, and Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas. Then, Ashoka will invite the public to vote on four winners who will receive cash prizes of US $5,000. Top qualifying entrants will also be considered for an Ashoka Fellowship — complete with a living stipend, international recognition, and access to a network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs. To encourage a breadth of global applications, the competition is being launched in nine languages: Arabic, Mandarin, English, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Thai.

We’re excited to see the ideas submitted to this competition and to help social entrepreneurs advance their innovations.

This competition is run by Ashoka with sponsorship from Google. Submit your idea on:

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