What we learned from the Community Council polls

What topics interest you most as a writer or translator?

WordCloud of free text responses to the Global Voices Community Council poll question: What topics interest you most as a writer or translator?

Over the past few weeks, we've been going through the results and free text responses from the Community Council polls and working to turn your recommendations and ideas into workable plans. We are pleased to discover that the Council results are quite consistent across all four issues, and point us in a clear direction.

In some cases, the results are clear enough that we’ll be able to implement changes fairly quickly. In other cases, we have clear preferences about what we should do, but precisely how to do them will take some time to work through. On those issues, we look forward to working with you on testing ideas and finding solutions.

Here are some of the findings we found especially interesting:

  • The Council sent strong signals for Global Voices to retain our current core values and mission. Poll questions that emphasized the values of equal representation of voice and story in media dominated. Responses to questions about values across all four polls demonstrated this strong preference.
  • Making a change in the world was a stronger motivation for participation for Council members than learning and self-improvement, or supporting the community for its own sake. This trend emerged in many poll responses. For instance, in response to poll 1, question 3, most Council members said they consider an editorial effort successful when we reach influential readers, when we bridge communities, and when we generate concrete change in the world. In contrast, “stories read and celebrated by the community” received many negative votes.
Topics & Focus, Question 3, GV Community Council

Global Voices Community Council Poll 1, Topics & Focus, Question 3: What, for you, best defines a successful editorial effort?

  • Council members would like our editorial work to have more structure and focus, including mechanisms for selecting which topics we focus on, experiments with different story types, and opportunities to work in other media formats. Participation in longer-term research-focused work did particularly well as an alternative activity.
  • Many of us expressed a preference for participating in GV as individuals, rather than as members of a group or identity category. The organizational structure questions produced results strongly in favor of a membership model, rather than chapters or decentralization by region.
  • Many of us want more opportunities to lead and participate in in-depth projects and a chance to engage in occasional paid work.
Degrees of Professionalization, Poll 2, Question 4

Global Voices Community Council Poll 2, Degrees of Professionalization, Question 4: Which roles would you most like to have with Global Voices?

  • Many of us are comfortable with shifting our funding model to allow us to work with more diverse funding sources, as long as we safeguard our ethical standards, mission and identity.
  • Many of us are excited by the idea of doing more mission-related services work beyond translation.

One possible point of tension: while most of us are in favor of participating in, or leading focused editorial and research projects, we also want to see balance and an equitable distribution of resources across our regions and projects. This will be challenging, as seeking funding for focused research and editorial work will almost inevitably result in more resources for some regions and topics. We will need to work creatively to find a way to satisfy both of these desires.

We’ll be publishing another blog post soon updating you on our progress on our plans. Stay tuned!

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