The Civic Media Observatory (CMO), a research branch of Global Voices, has worked since 2019 to investigate how narratives are constructed in our media ecosystems. Thanks to the local knowledge of researchers from over 30 countries, we have contributed to the civic debate as well as the mitigation of harm caused by media narratives.
We are excited to broaden our scope and announce the launch of the Community Civic Media Observatory. The observatory maintains the same methodological structure as previous CMOs and help foster the Global Voices community at large by bringing in more people who want to collaborate with us.
At the Community CMO, we want to give space for authors to pitch their ideas, use the observatory’s tools, and publish their findings. Once authors are onboard, they may also be commissioned work by the CMO team.
See our complete dataset.
How to get involved
The Community CMO employs an innovative methodology to analyze local media ecosystems, for which our community’s insights are invaluable. Researchers will be trained in that methodology, research, and publish their findings in stories on Global Voices and the CMO’s newsletter, Undertones. A team of editors will support researchers along the way.
This project will provide a unique perspective on media landscapes from around the world, and help to promote informed and engaged citizens. Researchers will be compensated for their research and published work.
There are two main ways to get involved:
1. Participate in one of the CMO’s open trainings
Trainings will happen once every two weeks. The CMO team will introduce the methodology and goals to you on a one-hour-long call onZoom. No pitch is necessary at this point, trainings are open to anyone interested in what we do at the Civic Media Observatory. We will announce new trainings on this page once they are scheduled.
The next open training will be on Friday, September 15, at 12 pm UTC. You can register here.
Here are some examples of stories we’ve published that illustrate what we are looking for:
Pitch us an idea based on the narratives you see forming in the media ecosystem in the country you want to cover.
To spot a narrative, you might ask yourself: How are people talking about this topic? Who are the groups or individuals benefiting from this idea? How is this narrative spreading? What are the possible harms or benefits for society around this idea?
After an internal review process, we will get in touch with you to start your research training. Eventually, your pitch can become a Global Voices story and/or the next Undertones newsletter!
You will be asked to join the editors in a call to agree on a rate and deliverables.
At the moment, our main working language is English. However, if you would like to send us your pitch in another language, please email us and we will discuss the feasibility of working in that language.
About the Civic Media Observatory
The CMO is at the crossroads between a research lab and a newsroom. Over the past three years, we have launched investigations on media narratives about Taiwan’s 2020 elections, COVID-19, Ethiopia’s civil conflict, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and digital authoritarianism, among many country-specific analyses. Undertones, the CMO’s newsletter, provides a biweekly digest of our researchers’ findings.
You can learn more about the CMO in this interview with Giovana Fleck, the CMO’s project lead.
We are excited to embark on this new project with the Global Voices community. We encourage all interested authors to submit their pitches here or contact Giovana Fleck for any questions.
Visit the Civic Media Observatory main page.
Read the stories
Stories about Community Civic Media Observatory
Russian authorities are struggling to sell the war to potential soldiers, but an electronic drafting system might change the game
Emmerson Mnangagwa was re-elected as president in an election that has been called "blatant and massive fraud" by the opposition.
Alessandra Soler’s research reveals that for many Venezuelans, ‘Venezuela is also a victim of Russia’
For the past twenty years, the Venezuelan government has become increasingly intertwined with the Kremlin. Now, many Venezuelans protest against Russia's encroachments at home.
The conversations happening on these Telegram channels do not have to do with Russian politics - but with Argentina's
Polarization impacts Brazilians’ perception of the war in Ukraine – in some cases by embracing Russian narratives
Low education about AI tech leads to ill-informed narratives about algorithmic bias
With President Erdoğan's reelection, some Turkish citizens are questioning whether voting is enough for democracy
Maduro put some of his own people in prison over the graft of billions of dollars. Theories abound as to why.
President Recep Erdoğan is pitting “identity” versus “reality” in his campaign to stay in power
"Religious narratives are exactly why the regime hasn’t been overthrown yet"