Global Voices (GV) is an international, multilingual, primarily volunteer community of writers, translators, academics, and human rights activists. Together, we leverage the power of the internet to build understanding across borders through our work in the GV Newsroom, Lingua, Rising Voices and Advox, and through research projects such as the Civic Media Observatory.
If you’re a new volunteer or contractor, this guide will familiarize you with the many facets of our work and mission. Current members may also find this guide provides a useful refresher on our work, and processes and deepens their participation.
Learn more about GV
How we work together
GV has always been a virtual organization—we have never had a physical office. GV’s leadership team and hundreds of contributors work virtually from their homes in various parts of the world. Most of our work revolves around our newsroom, our dozens of language sites, and two special sections, Advox and Rising Voices. This Community site serves as a hub for the community to share knowledge and ideas, for organizational announcements, and for a variety of organizational and technical guides.
Each section of GV is led by a section head and has a team of editors, contributors and/or translators who communicate and collaborate via email, Slack, and other communication channels. Smaller groups organized by region, language or topic may set up channels in messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Signal to communicate about their work.
Global Voices is a large, diverse, community that spans many countries, languages, cultures, and behavioral norms, and all community members are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the guidelines set out in our Community Ethics and Harassment Policy. Our broad goals and values are also outlined in our Rights and Responsibilities of Contributors page.
How we create content that sheds light on the world
GV contributors work closely with Editors and Translation Managers, who review and edit stories and translations before they are published to ensure high quality and accuracy.
Our newsroom contributors work with Regional Editors to produce stories about the most compelling issues in their regions, with an emphasis on stories that highlight the experiences of marginalized and underrepresented communities. Our Associate Editors work with Regional Editors and newsroom contributors to shape and edit those stories and ensure that they are accurate and well-written.
Most GV stories are published first in English and then translated into an array of languages by our volunteer translators. Language teams are managed by Translation Managers, who review translations for quality and manage the workflow on each translation site.
GV also engages in research. Our current research project is the Civic Media Observatory, where researchers engage in analysis of media ecosystems in various countries and around various topics or events.
Everything produced by GV is published under a Creative Commons license, so be prepared to see your best work appear on other news websites and online spaces as well!
Why volunteer with GV?
While GV relies on our team of paid contractors to keep things running smoothly, at heart we are a volunteer-driven project. Over the years, thousands of volunteers have contributed to GV and found fulfillment in being able to highlight their countries and their own experiences for a global audience, hone their writing and journalism skills and build portfolios of published work, learn from their peers, make deep and lasting friendships, as well as create the change they wish to see in the world. We’ve been told over and over by many in our community that contributing to GV has opened doors to new connections and professional opportunities.
Global Voices contributors are also frequently contacted by foreign media and organizations to share their knowledge and commentary when notable events are occurring in their countries.
For translators, volunteering GV offers the chance to engage with a unique body of work, to learn about other cultures and discover new parts of the world. Working with GV’s translation team, translators also gain valuable experience with web publishing and collaboration. Check out what Lingua contributors have to say about it!
Who's who at GV
Many people work to keep GV running from day to day, including you! Your primary contact at GV will likely be a regional editor in the newsroom or a translation manager, but also feel free to ask anyone on the core team for information or guidance.
Find out more about who’s who at GV by following these links:
- Our management team and editors
- Our organizational chart
- List of all our contributors
- Lingua, our translation section
- Our board Members
Your voice matters!
GV has always been community-driven, including in the setting of priorities and decision-making for the organization. We always welcome new ideas, suggestions, and critiques on community communication channels like the Google Group mailing lists, the GV Slack channels and social media accounts.
Contributors should also feel free to suggest ideas or raise concerns directly with their newsroom editors, translation managers, or other project leads.
The Global Voices Community Council offers a more formal way to participate in our decision-making process. Each year, active GV contributors are invited to join the Council, whose members participate in special online discussions and weigh in on specific issues through polls and surveys. If you’re interested in being on the Council, keep an eye out for an invitation email, which is usually sent out early in the new year.
Like all nonprofit foundations, GV is governed by a board of directors. See the Global Voices Board page for a list of current members, and the Board Elections FAQ to learn more about its composition.
As described in the FAQ, the board includes three representatives from the GV community who represent the interests of GV community members. They are the community’s spokespeople at board level and the conduit for community perspectives. Representatives should be in regular touch with the GV community to listen to and familiarize themselves with members’ opinions and concerns.
You can send feedback directly to the current community representatives through the Community Board Representatives Feedback Form.
GV Summits and Meetups
Periodically, GV holds summits in various locations around the world. These meetings bring together as many GV contributors as possible for several days of in-person meetings and a public conference. These meetings provide an opportunity for us to work together in person to strengthen our community, exchange knowledge and ideas, and showcase our work as we strive to achieve our mission.
While we are unable to bring the entire GV community to these meetings, we do cover the cost of travel and accommodation at these events for a subset of our most active contributors.
Additionally, GV contributors who live in the same cities or regions sometimes organize their own, smaller meetups. We encourage all our members to reach out to fellow GVers in your area and see if you can make a local event happen. Conferences and other events organized by other groups in your area can also be a good opportunity to meet up and network.
See the GV Meetup Guide for ideas!
Now that you know a little more about GV, check out these more detailed guides:
- Writer's Guide
- Translators Guide
- Community Ethics and Harassment Policy
- Communication and Safety Guidelines
- About Rising Voices
- About Advox
Have feedback, clarifications, or suggestions for this guide? Please add comments and suggestions on the Discussion Google Doc version of this guide!