A coalition of NGOs - the G20Voice – and the UK government are breaking with convention and, for the first time, allow 50 bloggers to report live and direct from the G20 summit, on April 2 in London.
This unprecedented event gives the bloggers and their audience the chance to engage with and influence world leaders on issues including development, climate change and women’s rights. The bloggers were nominated by the public, with more than 700 nominations received in 12 days.
The organisations behind G20Voice are OxfamGB, Comic Relief, Save the Children, ONE and Blue State Digital. G20Voice is a collaborative effort demonstrating the breadth of commitment to ending world poverty and inequality.
The 50 include a broad range of influential, knowledgeable and popular bloggers from the G20 countries and the developing world. These include:
Sokari Ekine – a pioneering Nigerian blogger
Jotman – an undercover blogger exposing injustice in Thailand and Burma
Daudi Were – a leading organiser of African bloggers
Dr Kumi Naidoo – head of GCAP and contributor to Huffington Post
Cheryl Conte from Jack and Jill Politics - representing the US “Black bourgeoisie”
Enda Surya Nasution – the father of Indonesian blogging
Rowan Davies – representing the 200,000 members of Mumsnet
Rui Chenggang – China's leading economics broadcaster and blogger with 13,000,000 viewers every evening on CCTV
Richard Murphy – the leading expert on Tax Havens.
They will be joined by thousands of bloggers online at www.g20voice.org with audio and video livestreaming, and also via skype broadcasts from inside the summit.
There is a full programme of events for the 50 invited bloggers. The event begins on April 1 with the official launch, including a series of briefings and round table discussions. On the day of the summit bloggers will have access to briefings from senior figures and world leaders. Members of the delegations have been invited to speak with the bloggers to discuss the developments in the main summit chamber.
Journalists are invited to come to the blogging tent to meet and talk with bloggers throughout the day.
Karina Brisby, G20Voice project founder and Digital Campaigns Manager, Oxfam GB said: "The G20Voice project was inspired by the articulate, engaging and often outraged posts, tweets, podcasts and videocasts from bloggers all over the world about the current economic crisis and how that affects the issues they are passionate about such as poverty and climate change.
"We are seeing a huge increase in the number of people around the world using digital tools to inform themselves and then contribute to debates about the issues that affect their lives. G20Voice recognises the importance of bloggers and gives them a unique opportunity to report back to their audiences direct from the G20 Summit itself."
Adrian Lovett, Director of Campaigns at Save the Children said: “G20Voice will tear back the curtain as leaders draw up their blueprint for global recovery. Thanks to G20Voice at this summit the world will be watching. Bloggers will witness the summit from the inside - and the world will know whether leaders are building a future fit for the world's children, or one that rewards only the rich. Gordon Brown has set the bar for the London G20 summit next month by promising that the UK will meet its aid commitments despite the economic downturn. He must ensure other G20 countries do the same. If action to prevent children dying isn't taken now we could see this financial crisis claim the lives of a generation of children.”
Oliver Buston, Europe Director of the Africa campaign group ONE said: “At ONE we’ve always been focused on empowering individuals to raise their voices against extreme poverty. This group of citizen-journalists includes some of the most articulate voices on this issue, and it’s exciting to be a part of bringing them to this international stage. The world’s poorest people are being hit hardest by a global crisis not of their making – the bloggers will have a chance to ask tough questions of world leaders, and demand solutions that will benefit everyone, not just the wealthy few."