Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Berkman Center Awarded Two Knight Grants for Media Projects

Success of "Global Voices" and "Potential of the Citizen Media Law Project" Recognized by Knight Foundation News Challenge

Cambridge, MA – The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School announced the award of two Knight Foundation News Challenge grants today – the only organization of the 24 winners to receive multiple grants – with both Global Voices and the Citizen Media Law Project acknowledged by the Knight Foundation at the Interactive Media Conference & Tradeshow in Miami.
“We are proud to receive these awards from the Knight Foundation, which not only help to affirm the importance of participatory media, but the need to articulate standards and level the playing field as citizen journalism quickly spreads across a largely unregulated space,” said Colin Maclay, Managing Director of the Berkman Center. Global Voices (, a curator and aggregator of blogs from around the world, will receive $244,000 over two years to expand its coverage to underserved populations by training new authors in developing nations. Global Voices is an international effort to diversify the online conversation by showcasing speakers from around the world, and developing tools, institutions and relationships to help make these voices heard. Berkman Fellow and Global Voices co-founder Ethan Zuckerman thanked the Knight Foundation and praised their recognition of the value that international citizen journalism holds.
“Through all of the success that our project has experienced since it began in 2004, we have become more aware of the difficulties in creating a globally inclusive environment,” Zuckerman said. “We look forward to using this funding for the outreach, training, and technology vital to a more complete and dynamic international dialog,” he added. Global Voices was previously recognized by the Knight Foundation as the 2006 winner of the Knight-Batten award for innovations in journalism.
The project is sustained through foundation and corporate funding, including support from media company Reuters, the MacArthur Foundation, and Hivos, a Dutch foundation.The Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP, – a joint Berkman venture with the Center for Citizen Media – will receive a News Challenge award of $250,000 to support the first stage of the project, including conducting research and producing legal guides addressing legal issues faced by citizen journalists such as free speech, libel, newsgathering and intellectual property. The CMLP seeks to build a community of lawyers, academics, journalists, and others who are interested in facilitating citizen participation in online media and in protecting the legal rights of those engaged in speech on the Internet. Berkman Fellow and project director David Ardia noted: “We are excited to get started on what will be an important resource for citizen journalists.” “We are eager to see the CMLP become part of a wider effort to promote journalism generally and hope our work will help to ensure that our legal system fosters an environment suitable for open and robust speech,” he added. The emerging field of citizen media has been a major focus for the Berkman Center since 2003, when weblogging pioneer Dave Winer joined the center as a Berkman Fellow. Since that time, Berkman fellows have included citizen media luminaries such as Doc Searls, David Weinberger, CMLP co-founder Dan Gillmor and Global Voices co-founder Rebecca MacKinnon.