The Deutsche Welle International Blog Awards

Deadline: 5 March 2014
Open to: bloggers worldwide writing in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, or Ukrainian
Prizes: invitation for the Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany


The Deutsche Welle International Blog Awards – The Bobs – honors websites in 14 languages that champion the open exchange of ideas and freedom of expression. When the annual awards launched in 2004, blogs were just beginning to establish themselves as a new type of media and the Bobs aimed to show that this new form of communication was worthy of being taken seriously.

The Bobs represent one of the Deutsche Welle ongoing efforts to contribute to promoting the upholding of human rights around the world. It’s their 10th anniversary but don’t let that make you think they are going to mess with something that works. The Bobs 2014 is still all about recognizing the hard work done online and off to promote freedom of expression, human rights and civil society.

Of the 20 categories in The Bobs, six are multilingual and 14 are language-specific. The six main, multilingual categories are:

  • Best Blog. This is the place for the blogs whose content and design do an exemplary job of promoting and protecting human rights as well as initiating and fostering open discussion of topics that are of social and public importance.
  • Best Innovation. In the Best Innovation category, the search is on for software solutions, applications or Internet platforms that dedicate themselves to providing the technology that enables people to improve society and democratic social integration.
  • Best Social Activism. The winner here will be an initiative that makes exemplary use of social media, networks and other forms of digital communication to bolster democracy, freedom and human rights. Advertising and marketing campaigns run by companies or organizations are excluded from this category.
  • Reporters Without Borders Award. In cooperation with Reporters Without Borders, this special award honors blogs that take a strong stance for freedom of information and expression around the world. It also honors bloggers who dare to spread information under daunting circumstances.
  • Global Media Forum Award. The focus for the 2014 Global Media Forum Award will be sites that examine how interconnectedness, interactivity and participation influence and spur on the democratic process. “From information to participation – challenges for the media” is the focus of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, which runs from June 30 to July 2 in Bonn, Germany.
  • Most Creative and Original. This is the category for sites that take a creative and entertaining approach to serious topics. The focus here is on the innovative and surprising way socially relevant topics are handled and presented. Special attention will also be given to the visual and artistic presentation.

Language-specific categories: Here they are looking for the best websites in each of The Bobs 14 languages. Special attention will be given to sites that initiate discussions and provide top-quality analysis and commentary on current events. There are no limits on the types of sites allowed in the language-specific categories. They are open to blogs, websites, microblogs, videos and podcasts.


Who can take part? Websites and projects have to be in one of The Bobs’ 14 languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian), everything in The Bobs also has to be available to the public (no passwords).

Nearly all 20 categories are open to any format of work you can imagine. Whether it’s YouTube channels, Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter or other microblogs, or podcasts – show the creative projects that are grabbing – and holding – your attention. There is just one exception: the main category, the head honcho of the contest – Best Blog – is open, as the name implies, only to blogs.


Organizers will announce all The Bobs 2014 winners for both the Jury Awards and the People’s Choice Awards on the official website on May 7. Then the jury winners will be invited to Germany to receive their prizes as part of Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum in Bonn. The focus of this year’s conference, which runs from June 30 – July 2, is “From Information to Participation – Challenges for the Media.”


The deadline for submissions is 5 March 2014.

Submitting is very easy. Just login with one of the following services to participate: Deutsche Welle, Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, or VKontakte. Once you did it, you can submit a site to The Bobs.

After the window for submissions to The Bobs has closed, each jury member receives a list of all suggested sites in his or her language and gets down to analyzing and rating them to create a list of finalists. The five finalists in the language-specific categories are determined by corresponding language’s jury member. to The Bobs.

For more information, please visit the official website.

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