GroundReport is a global citizen journalism platform that enables anyone to publish news reports and videos and reach a global audience.
With a mission statement to ‘democratize the media,’ GroundReport’s base of over 7,000 international contributors report from the scene of world events, in theory, to provide local insight and spin-free authenticity. To establish trust, GroundReport uses a Wikipedia-like model of volunteer editors and community feedback, combined with a 5-star rating system. Contributors retain rights to their work, and can choose a range of Creative Commons licenses. The New York-based company was founded by Rachel Sterne in 2006, inspired by her work reporting on Darfur at the United Nations.
GroundReport is distinguished from citizen journalism competitors like NowPublic in its original content-only policy. Plagiarized and copyright-infringing material are strictly prohibited from GroundReport, and offending users banned from the site. The site updates constantly and report 75-100 new stories per day. All GroundReport contributors receive automatic monthly payments via PayPal based on the unique traffic to their posts. Most GroundReport contributors are professionally trained journalists or journalism students.
In June 2008, GroundReport became the first citizen journalism platform to use the YouTube API for its on-demand video publishing. Shortly thereafter, GroundReport became an official partner channel, and a flagship participant in their newly launched ‘reporter’ category. Among YouTube’s official Beijing Olympics content partners, including the Associated Press, Reuters and New York Times, GroundReport was the only citizen news source.
In the live-streaming space, GroundReport is a featured flagship channel on broadcast platform Mogulus. GroundReport’s live video coverage of the Democratic Debates, Aspen Institute and panel discussions including media figures like Arianna Huffington and Jeff Jarvis has been featured on Huffington Post, Salon, Silicon Alley Insider and TechCrunch.