Partnerships

GVPartnershipsSince 2004, we have worked with an extraordinary network of partners. We build media partnerships around the world to support our mission of finding the most compelling and important stories from marginalized and misrepresented communities.

We partner with small independent local media sites like Iran Voices, Ensia and Prachatai to amplify their work through Global Voices and we also work with larger big media groups like PRI.org, Slate and the Guardian to amplify our stories and the stories of our partners.

Beyond our publishing partnerships, we also team up with like-minded organizations on co-productions, commissioned series, tools, campaigns, mentoring and other projects that help further our mission of speaking out against online censorship and supporting new ways for people to gain access to the Internet.

This page is for editors interested in building media or content-related partnerships.

Why partnerships?

1. Every time we bring a like-minded partner into our community we take a big step towards meeting the ambitious goals of expanding our community and audience laid out in our manifesto:

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. [..] 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.

2. For editors, partnerships with local media also help expand your community, bring exceptional content onto Global Voices and help meet publishing targets, which can be challenging when volunteers are busy.

3. For authors and our local partners, partnerships with larger media organization help bring their stories to larger audiences.

4. Our funders and supporters also expect us to meet our mission by expanding our audience. When big media groups republish GV stories, it shows that we are reaching out to larger audiences. When we republish the stellar work of small independent media, it shows we are helping them reach a larger audience too.

Any mainstream, alternative or small media organization can take advantage of our content and re-publish it under our creative commons license. Our formal “partnerships” entail some kind of extra mutual benefit for Global Voices and the collaborating organization.

Partnerships can take many different forms, be in any language or from any country.

Types of paid partnerships 

  • Co-production: Our editors work with their editors or writers to co-produce stories that are published on both sites. We had this arrangement with ISN.
  • Commission: We write independent stories on a specific topic, region, or issue. This is our arrangement with Freemuse. 
  • Translation: Organizations can hire our global community of tech-savvy and culturally-aware translators. We had this arrangement with Refugee United and ISN.
  • Mentoring: Our community members mentor aspiring writers and translators. We have had mentoring partnerships with the Melton Foundation.

Types of republishing partnerships

  • Glocal” editing: We edit and republish stories by credible local media sites so their content can reach global audiences. Examples include Balochistan Point and Sim Embargo.
  • Universities: We edit and republish stories by journalism students so their content can reach global audiences. Examples include the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
  • Cross-posting: We exchange content and link to each other through our Creative Commons license. This is our arrangement with Ensia and 350.org. 
  • Conditional cross-posting: They can crosspost any GV story through our CC, but we ask their permission when we want to cross-post from their site. This is our arrangement with PRI.org.
  • One-way republishing: They republish GV stories through our CC. We cannot republish their copyrighted content.This is our arrangement with Slate, and the Guardian.

Other types of partnerships

  • GV experts: Organizations can get in touch if they need an expert for a conference, media appearance, or research.
  • Coverage: We love shining light on the work that like-minded organizations do. Organizations can contact us if they need help promoting a campaign or event that you think falls under our mission.
  • Events, campaigns, workshops and petitions: We often partner with similar mission-driven organizations of events, campaigns, workshops and in some cases petitions. If someone gets in touch with you, please forward the request to the managing editor and managing director.

Who do we formally partner with?

Partnerships are limited to organizations that are aligned with our goals and values. The first task is to identify organizations that we would like to partner with. We do have a few concerns and issues that we watch out for:

  • We don't take direct funding from governments. We are careful to evaluate funding from organizations who take governmental funding on a case-by-case basis to ensure that their funding doesn't create an editorial bias.
  • We look at the character and reputation of the organization, its potential impact on GV, and also whether it might be cause tension or conflict within GV. We tend to stay away from organizations with overtly political or sectarian agendas, though we analyze them on case-by-case bases.
  • If the partnership includes paid production of content, we look at whether funding is tied to specific projects or obligations. Anyone, in theory, could donate to us via PayPal online. We wouldn't even necessarily know who they are. Grant mechanisms, co-productions, and project-funded activities require more involvement. We also look at reporting requirements, and requirements that the donor be involved during the project.

Setting up a partnership can seem daunting, but once it has been launched, it makes our content and reach so much better and also helps editors reach their publishing targets.

The next 16 steps will help guide you in bringing a media or content partner into the Global Voices community.

Getting started

The following four steps should be taken before contact is made with a possible partner.

1. Identify and research the potential partner.

2. If the partner produces non-English content, discuss the partnership with the Lingua Editor. If the partner produces Advox or Rising Voices related content, check in with the Advocacy or Rising Voices Director and discuss the partnership.

3. Fill out the “Is this a potential GV partner” form.

4. The managing editor or executive director will get back to you with questions or give you the green light to contact the partner.

MOU

5. Once the partner is on board, email the managing editor or executive director about any special requirements they have that need to be drafted into the MOU. Here's an example of what our typical MOU looks like.

6. The managing editor or executive director will prepare a MOU on Docracy, a cool platform that most of you have used to sign your contracts. They will draft a little note to the partner to introduce themselves; you will be cced.

7. You will get a notification from Docracy when the MOU has been “executed” or signed by the partner and our executive director.

Republishing

8. Once you get the MOU execution notification from Docracy, you can create an account for the partner on GV. The email address associated with the the user profile should be for our contact person at the partner publication

9. For English republishing partners you can create an account on our English site.

10. For non-English partners ask the Lingua editor to create an account on the Lingua site. [In some cases, partners will hand over responsibility of loading their content onto GV to us. In this case, you can use a little hack to create an account for them linked to your email address on WordPress. By adding the “partnername” and “+” in front of the email address associated with your GV WordPress account, For example: “partnername+editoremail@gmail.com”. All emails related to the account will arrive in the editor's inbox.]

11. Prepare their profile page or ask them too. Their bio should have an avatar, describe the publication, include their URL and relevant social media accounts. Please add a note that says “This is a Global Voices partner. For more information about our partners, read this.

12. Then you or the partner can upload their content.

13. Don’t forget to include a note at the top linking to their original piece! All republished articles should be prefaced with an intro text similar to this one:

This article by Rachel Wang originally appeared on Tea Leaf Nation on May 13, 2013, and is republished as part of a content-sharing agreement.

14. When you are ready to publish, send it to subediting through editflow; please mention that it’s a new partner, so they know to keep their editing to the minimum.

Welcome to GV

15. Write an announcement post. And link to it in this sentence on the partner profile page: “This is a Global Voices partner.”

16. Send a request to add them to the community Google group and do an intro on the list. We want our partners — particularly our main contact there — to feel like they are a member of the community.

Communicate regularly

Touching base regularly with a partner is important to keep up to date with the state and health of the partnerships. This implies communicating with partners on a regular basis to check whether the agreements are met, find out what is working well, and where we can improve or develop the partnership further.

Regular contact will also provide both – Global Voices and our partners – useful data about the partnership.

Check in with them every 1-2 months and send an assessment to the managing editor or executive director every 3-6 months.

Things to ask include:

  • Actual traffic for GV stories on the partner's sites.
  • Estimated traffic, based on average traffic to that site.
  • Any anecdote, interconnectedness, or general feedback, including feedback on how the partnership is working and ideas to improve it.

These would require partners to share information, but we do not need to publicize that information, if they care about discretion (our primary concern is internal metrics, just for us and our donors). Even if they can't provide exact traffic numbers, average numbers per post would allow us to extrapolate our reach through these networks.