Tag Archives: Investigative Reporting

GroundReport.com Is Hyper-Local Gone Global– But Will It Work?

picture-3While interning at the State Department in 2005, Rachel Sterne watched Kofi Annan plead with the Security Council to stop the madness in Darfur and saw nothing happening. The classic next move in a situation like that would’ve probably involved buying a supportive “Save Darfur” t-shirt and turning genocide into her go-to talking point for dinner parties.

But for Sterne, who had just received her BA from New York University and was, no doubt, full of that particular brand of youthful idealism that makes problems seem scalable, that didn’t seem like enough. Her belief that “there was no public pressure about Darfur because the public didn’t have a personal connection with the issue” plagued her, inspiring the founding of GroundReport.com in the summer of 2007. An open source global news site that shares revenue with its far-flung network of 4,000 citizen reporters, GroundReport has been called “the Wikipedia of news.” Its professed goal is to democratize the media by making original, intelligent reporting possible for amateurs and professionals alike. More importantly though, the site produces international news at a fraction of the cost of the mainstream media by relying on the locals for coverage.

Though still in its infancy, the start up site has already garnered a decent amount of attention. Early on interviews with CNNMoney.com have since been superceded by features in Business Week, which recently named Sterne one of its Top 25 Social Entrepreneurs. Similarly promising are content partnerships with the likes of The Huffington Post and Mogulus.

Given the journalism world’s recent and widespread adoption of the Throwing Spaghetti At A Wall and Seeing What Sticks, this attention comes as no surprise. Because while the concept of using a worldwide network of reporters to cover international news is nothing revolutionary, GroundReport’s reliance on citizens and its willingness to share the profit with them is something of a new experiment. Continue reading


HuffPost “Citizen Journalism Standards” Yawn Worthy

1701596155_878c369cbdThe Huffington Post is just decided to dedicate $1.75million to investigative reporting. They’re not quite sure exactly where they’ll spend it yet, or on whom, but say it’s definitely happening. In preparation for this little experiment and in the wake of the successes (and a few failures) of HuffPost’s Off The Bus project, the site just released it’s list of Citizen Journalism Publishing Standards.

I’m excited about what they’re doing with their investigative reporting project, but mother of god, the most common sense, boring list ever. Honestly, it almost makes me question citizen journalism in general the the HuffPost expects to be receiving posts from people who don’t even understand that web content should include links and may be edited by, well, editors. Is this just the HuffPost assuming we’re idiots or are wannabe journalists actually dumb enough to need these reminders?

Photo: Flickr CC