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BBC site wins e-democracy honour

BBC site wins e-democracy honour

The BBC's grassroots campaign website, Action Network, has been honoured as the top politics and Internet "world changer" of 2005, for the third year in a row. The site was declared the winner of the Top 10 vote at the World Forum on e-Democracy in Paris this week. The list picks out the best e-politics initiatives, democracy think-tanks, bloggers, and political thinkers. Action Network provides a platform for people interested in local issues. It was also a category winner in the European e-Democracy Awards at the same event. The site beat competition from podcasting advocate Adam Curry, US writer Dan Gillmor, who campaigns on blogging rights and grassroots journalism, and Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan. It also beat The Hansard Society, the Digital Divide Network and animation site JibJab Media. Martin Vogel, Action Network's project leader, said: "It's exciting to be recognised among the leading e-democracy initiatives happening all over the world. It's a great endorsement of the aims of Action Network and everything we've done so far." When it was launched in 2003, under the name of iCan, it was hoped that the site would complement the growing ecology of community activity on the net and direct people to web-wide initiatives of interest to them. Getting involved "The Action Network site has done some fantastic, pioneering work for e-democracy, informing citizens and giving them the tools to get involved in issues important to them," commented Pete Clifton, editor of BBC News Interactive. "It's been a bold initiative by the BBC and I am delighted it has been recognised in this way." The web has turned into an effective medium of choice for many direct action campaigns and local community groups. "We've recently re-launched and look forward to the site continuing to evolve and change in response to our members' needs," said Mr Vogel. He added that he hoped the honour would encourage more people to try the site and get involved in changing their local communities. The Action Network website offers tools to get started and information across a broad spectrum of interests, from starting a campaign for a pelican crossing to saving a playing field It is aimed at providing a neutral platform to help anyone in the UK get more involved in local civic and democratic activities.

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