Global Voices Online

The world may be flat, as Thomas Friedman, argues, but much of the information we receive is filtered through a corporatized media, hierarchical institutions, and politically motivated interest groups. Americans receive little information about other countries directly from the people who live there. But that is changing.

Global Voices Online features firsthand reports from bloggers all around the world, including hot spots such as Iraq, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Happy Birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi!).

Eddie Avila, senior manager for community youth programs at Washington National Cathedral, is the regional editor for Latin America. In an email to the Cafe, he wrote:

“I work to coordinate our team of volunteer authors from across the region, as well as search for daily links of interesting blog entries from across the region.

Our Goals:

To amplify the voices of bloggers and content creators often ignored by other media.

To help develop and refine tools and resources that encourage global dialogue and the freedom of online expression.

To advocate against censorship and promote the safety of bloggers who live under autocratic regimes.

To foster diversity and the emergence of new citizens’ voices through training and outreach.”

To read what Avila calls the group’s “manifesto”…

We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak — and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.

To that end, we seek to enable everyone who wants to speak to have the means to speak — and everyone who wants to hear that speech, the means to listen to it.

Thanks to new tools, speech need no longer be controlled by those who own the means of publishing and distribution, or by governments that would restrict thought and communication. Now, anyone can wield the power of the press. Everyone can tell their stories to the world.

We seek to build bridges across the gulfs that divide people, so as to understand each other more fully. We seek to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.

We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful. We believe conversation across boundaries is essential to a future that is free, fair, prosperous and sustainable – for all citizens of this planet.

While we continue to work and speak as individuals, we also seek to identify and promote our shared interests and goals. We pledge to respect, assist, teach, learn from, and listen to one other.

We are Global Voices.

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