US-based website PoliticsOnline and the 4th World Forum on e-Democracy recognised the best online pioneers in a ceremony in France at the end of September. 

PoliticsOnline asked its 30,000 readers and subscribers to name the people, organisations and companies that are changing the world of internet and politics.

From these nominations, 25 world changers and five rising stars were selected.

Free expression

Aljazeera's Arabic website made it into the top 25 alongside the BBC and Africa Online web services.

PoliticsOnline President, Phil Noble said to many, Aljazeera is the symbol of free expression in the Middle East.

He has said despite the efforts of hackers to bring the site down during the Iraq war, it is now the world's foremost uncensored Arab news service.

"You were nominated by the readers of our e-newsletters and website," he told Aljazeera.

Hackers

"These individuals strongly believed you to be one of the top 25 individuals, organisations or companies having the greatest impact on the way the internet is changing politics.

"We appreciate your dedication to this exciting and rapidly changing world of internet and politics. Your leadership in this field has made a significant impact on the world."

During the Iraq war, when Aljazeera put up a temporary new English-language website it was also targeted by hackers.

The current English site was launched on 1 September.