A Toolkit for Citizen Media

Submitted on Wed, November 30, 2011

Yesterday, Ashoka announced the winners of Citizen Media: A Global Innovation Competition – four projects, selected by our Changemakers community from among 426 entries, that harness security technologies, crowdsourcing, crowd curation, and creative pluck to better connect people around the world to media.

They are ingenious solutions – but there was a lot left on the cutting room floor, as they say. So, we’re also introducing the Citizen Media Toolkit, an interactive online resource that showcases all the best competition entries, as well as the work of Ashoka Fellows with compelling citizen media solutions.

Media entrepreneurs – or anyone interested in the field – can navigate these solutions by searching for certain strategies or media approaches, or by identifying geographies or contextual issues they find most relevant. And we’ve indexed solutions according to the historic values that they promise to sustain: freedom of speech; access to information; quality of content; and privacy and security. It’s all tied together by expert commentary from the Changemakers network.

We hope that the Citizen Media Toolkit will become a community-powered asset, one that reflects insights from well beyond the Ashoka Changemakers community – and that sustains innovation well past the end of the competition itself. In January, we will introduce a new Changemakers site intended to catalyze ongoing connection and collaboration – picking up where the competition left off, and both leveraging and advancing the toolkit.

So, explore the toolkit, and let us know what you think. Most of all, tell us about emerging innovations you think should be included in this evolving resource. The more inclusive we can make it, the better it represents the leading edge of Citizen Media innovation, the more value it will create for emerging entrepreneurs and the people and institutions who support their work.