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Global Voices is a nonprofit international network of bloggers and citizen journalists.
The site was launched in 2005 by Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman while both were fellows at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The site grew out of a 2004 international blogging conference.
After being run by the Berkman Center for three years, Global Voices was incorporated as a nonprofit in the Netherlands in 2008. It has received funding from a variety of donors and foundations, including from the MacArthur Foundation, Reuters, the Knight Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.
Global Voices employs numerous part-time regional editors who work with volunteer authors to report in English on the citizen media in their area or language. Global Voices’ authors rarely do firsthand reporting, focusing instead on aggregation and linking. But the bloggers they link to are often doing reporting, eyewitness and otherwise.
The site emphasizes media outside of the United States and Europe in an effort to highlight perspectives often missing from traditional media. The site rarely links to mainstream media outlets, though it has partnered with traditional news organizations such as Reuters and the BBC. Global Voices’ coverage of international issues is also often cited in traditional media outlets.
Backfence was a network of user-driven hyperlocal news sites that launched in 2005 and closed in 2007. Backfence was founded in 2005 by Mark Potts and Susan DeFife with five staff members and two community sites in the Washington, D.C., area. It raised $3 million in local and national investment and eventually expanded to 13…