Cool Things Happening in the Newsroom: July 2015 Edition

Endalk, Sahar and Ivan at the CPJ securing the Newsroom Summit in San Francisco. June 19, 2015. Photo by Geoff King, CPJ.

Endalk, Sahar and Ivan at the CPJ securing the Newsroom Summit in San Francisco. June 19, 2015. Photo by Geoff King, CPJ.

It's time for an update from the newsroom. In this post you’ll find highlights about traffic, new partnerships, changes in staff, media mentions — basically anything cool happening in the newsroom from the last seven weeks.

First up, we received some great news two weeks ago: five of the jailed Ethiopians we have been advocating for under the #FreeZone9bloggers campaign — including GVers Zelalem Kiberet and Edom Kassaye. — were released from jail. Four Zone9 bloggers are still in jail; all of them are GVers. We hope charges against our colleagues Befeqadu Hailu, Natnael Feleke, Atnaf Berahane and Abel Wabella will be dropped and that they will be released soon.

Newsroom Guide

As many of you know, we have been using the Global Voices Wiki to crowdsource and organically grow our policies and how-to documents over the years. The Wiki grew beautifully and wildly into dozens of pages, so two years ago we decided to close it and work towards finding a more user-friendly platform to host our documents.

Screen shot 2015-07-20 at 1.34.53 PMLast month, Gohary moved our Style, Writing and Editing Guides from the Global Voices Wiki to the Community site — thank you Gohary! Since then, Lauren and I have been reviewing and tweaking the guide so that it speaks to you in a way that you need and expect. This is still a work in progress and we would love your feedback.  Please do check it out, we are very excited about it.

In particular, we hope you will find the following pages helpful:

Welcome Katrin and Veroniki! 

  1. Katrin Zinoun joined the newsroom earlier this year as our volunteer editor for Germany. The German Lingua team is quite active and we are so glad that we’re covering Germany more thoroughly.
  2. Veroniki Krikoni has joined the newsroom as a volunteer editor for Greece. With Greece in the news, her addition to the team is very exciting.
  3. Nevin Thompson, our Japanese language editor and newsletter manager, has taken over Facebook and Tumblr responsibilities from Rayna. Many thanks to Rayna for helping our out on these platforms the last few months.

Top 10 posts for June and July

In June we published 221 posts (full-length stories), which is 31 more than our monthly average of 189.

Faten Bushehri and Kevin Rothrock each had three posts that topped our list of 10 best-performing posts the last seven weeks — congrats Kevin and Faten!

  1. Like last time, an analysis piece by Lawrence Alexander was the most viewed post. Open-Source Information Reveals Pro-Kremlin Web Campaign received 18.8K views, with an average time of 9:40 minutes on page. Aric Toler contributed to this post as well.
  2. Faten Bushehri’s post Is Bahrain Prepared for an ISIS Terror Attack? was viewed more than 13.5 K times, with an average time of 6:21 minutes on page.
  3. Palash Ranjan Sanyal’s post A 13-Year-Old Boy's Horrific Death Becomes Viral Facebook Video in Bangladesh was viewed about 11.8K times, with an average time of 4:57 minutes on page.
  4. How a Facebook User in Thailand Was Sentenced to 50 Years in Jail for ‘Defaming’ the Monarchy by our new partner Prachatai was viewed 8.1K times, with an average time of 5.57 minutes on page.
  5. Ugandan TV Personality Sacked After Her Nude Photos Appear Online by James Propa was viewed 7.2K times for about 3 minutes.
  6. Bahrain Takes Security Measures Following ISIS Threat by Faten Bushehri was viewed about 7K times, with an average time of 5 minutes on page.
  7. Saudi Cables Reveal How Saudi Arabia Saw Bahrain's February 14 Uprising by Faten Bushehri was viewed 5.5K times, with an average time of 4:41 minutes on page.
  8. Kevin Rothrock’s A Picture Worth a Thousand Russian Expletives was viewed about 5.4K times, with an average time of 6 minutes on page.
  9. What a ‘Mischievous Blonde Woman’ Dalai Lama Could Look Like by I-Fan was viewed about 4.3K times, with an average time of 3:40 minutes on page.
  10. Russia Bans the Internet Archive's ‘Wayback Machine’ by Kevin Rothrock was viewed about 4.2K times, with an average time of 4:30 minutes on page.


  1. In the past seven weeks, we signed agreements with five new partners: ICIJ (US), Aol (US), Ignition (Japan), Sin Embargo (Mexico), Balkan Diskurs P-CRC (Bosnia).
  2. We’ve been bringing on two partners every month since the year started. Partnerships with big media groups help us expand the audience for GV content,  and partnerships with independent small or local media organizations help expand our coverage. For more information on GV partnerships, check out the brand new partnership page on our site. If you have an organization in mind that would be a good partner for GV, let your editor know!
  3. Other partnerships launched this year: Ensia (Jan.); Iran Voices  (Feb.), ICHRI (Feb.), DW-Portuguese (Mar.) Pak Voices (Mar.), Radio Ambulante (Apr.), Pamir Times (Apr.), Prachatai (May) and Balochistan Point (May).

Editors meetings

Every six weeks, the editors in the newsroom get together for a voice conference. Here are some notes from our last meeting:

  1. Sahar, Eddie, Georgia, Ellery, Gohary, Lauren, Jer, Taisa, Firuzeh, Tanya, Rezwan, Mary, Laura, Mong, Nevin, Manuel, Mahsa and Ndesanjo attended the editors chat on July 10, 2015.
  2. We had a long conversation about labels, descriptions and terms we should avoid using like terrorism/terror/terrorist. The conversation inspired a series which we hope to collect stories on and you will hear about very soon.
  3. We reviewed our Breaking News protocol which we crowdsourced over email. It is now live in the Toolbox for Editors in the Editorial Guide.
  4. We talked partnership workflow and introduced a revised guide for editors on building partnerships.

CPJ Securing the Newsroom Summit

Last month, the Committee to Protect Journalists arranged a two-day meeting in San Francisco called “Securing the Newsroom” for journalists, editors, security experts, and technologists. From Global Voices Sahar Ghazi and Ivan Sigal attended. GVers Sana Saleem, Endalk and Anas Quetish were also there; in fact the three were on a panel moderated by GV board member Sue Gardener, which was informally dubbed the GV panel by Ivan. The fourth member of the panel was Alejandro, from  Sin Embargo — the Mexican news site joined GV as a partner soon after the conference!

In workshops, roundtables and panels, we discussed issues like technologically securing the newsroom and workflows and practices that were conducive to making our newsroom more secure. We are already working on some of these fronts and hope to continue making this a priority in the next year. You can read more about the conference in this blog on the CPJ website. 

Everyone wants a piece of Global Voices

In the past few weeks, media have been paying attention to the excellent work being done at Global Voices.

Did you get noticed by other media outlets too? Please send Lauren or Sahar an email and they’ll add you to our media mentions page!


GV Radio is live! If you know of any interesting podcasts in your area that you think would be a good fit on GV Radio, please fill out this form. And GV Radio is looking for promos in all languages. Read this for more information.

That’s it for now. We’ll be back in September!

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