For the Record

Dean Wright on Ethics, Innovation and Values

Honoring free expression online

Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Breaking Borders event in Berlin that marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event, at which I spoke, took the anniversary as an opportunity to explore how the Internet is playing a role in advancing participatory democracy and free expression around the world.

The media of 1989–television and satellite technology–played a role in bringing down the wall by connecting people and empowering them with information. Now, 20 years later, vastly more powerful information and communication technology is connecting people online, making it more possible to get around efforts at censorship and the suppression of information.

As a result of discussions at the Breaking Borders conference, Google and Global Voices, the international network of bloggers, have established the Breaking Borders Award to honor those who are fighting for free expression.