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Bloggers invited to compete for special DEUTSCHE WELLE “free expression” prize with Reporters Without Borders

December 9, 2009

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, today announced the start of its sixth annual international Best of the Blogs award, The BOBs. From today until 14 February, Internet users can nominate outstanding blogs in 11 different languages and 17 categories by going to the Best of the Blogs website,

There is a special category, sponsored by Reporters Without Borders, for blogs that defend freedom of expression. “We are very honoured to be involved in this prestigious competition,” said Lucie Morillon, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Internet and Freedoms desk. “By showcasing quality blogs, it is demonstrating the potential of online news and information and supporting free expression on the Internet.”

What are The BOBs?

The BOBs – Best Of The Blogs – is an international competition for journalism-style blogs. Including such categories as “Best blog,” “Best videoblog” and “Best podcast,” as well as the “Best freedom of expression blog,” it awards prizes in each of the competition’s 11 languages. This year there is a special prize for blogs and podcasts about climate change and, for the time, a prize in the “Best blog in Bengali” language category.

The jury

The international jury of journalists, blog specialists and a Reporters Without Borders representative is joined this year by Chinese artist and blogger Ai Weiwei. “Blogs have been the most efficient tool for the democratic movement in China,” Ai Weiwei said, adding that they offer a “kind of virtual democracy” for countries where freedom of expression is restricted. Claire Ulrich, a journalist, blogger and editor of the Global Voices website in French, replaces Gilles Klein as jury member for French.

Competition timetable

The jury will select the finalists from the nominations submitted by Internet users. The winners will be chosen from the finalists between 15 March and 14 April by a combination of online voting and jury selection. The names of winners will be announced at the re:publica Internet conference in Berlin on 15 April. The prizes will be awarded during the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn in June.

Special Reporters Without Borders prize

The prize is awarded for blogs that defend freedom of expression. Last year’s winners in this category were:
- the blog of Zeng Jinyan, the wife of Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia, who has been jailed in Beijing for nearly two years (
- Change For Equality, the website of the campaign to collect 1 million signatures for the repeal of laws that discriminate against women in Iran (

Nominate a blog :

For more information contact:
Reporters without Borders
Phone: 33 1 44 83 84 84


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