Wiki Journalism:

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on Aug 20, 2009 is a platform for the kind of journalism that has many names: hyperlocal journalism, citizen journalism, wiki journalism. Rachel Sterne's idea is to have a website where anyone can just sign up and submit articles, and become an instant citizen reporter.  Submitted content goes through a plagiarism filter and a group of editors will edit before any content goes live.

Based on the number of hits and the ranking of the author, good articles get filtered to the front page, and the hope is that bad articles will stay at bay with bad rankings and scarcely any hits. Contributors are compensated based on article rankings but compensation averages only a few cents.

The platform itself is designed for the web rather than for phones--although reporters surely use mobile phones for capturing some photo and video content. Phones reach more of the global population, and might allow for more hyperlocal as well as quicker coverage of events (one of GroundReport's selling points is that it covers news fast). However, phones do come with their associated problems--they are difficult to write large articles on, and are inherently suited for short-length communications. It will be interesting to see if GroundReport goes more mobile as time goes on, or other services with some of GroundReport's ideas and a mobile reporter-base spring onto existence.

Lily Quateman wrote in the New York Review of Ideas in June 2009 about, and a few of her comments are worth highlighting:

  • One audience member asked whether projects like GroundReport could report the news objectively. Sterne handily turned the question on itself. “Bias is what citizen journalists do well. It puts a more human face on things,” she replied.
  • And yet [the] lack of professionalism on GroundReport does not phase Sterne. In fact, she argues that the coverage provided by the people who are living the stories they’re reporting is irreplaceable. “You get the sort of perspective that a reporter from the states can’t really get. Everyone who’s reporting is experiencing these things first hand,” she says.
  • Argue all you will about the value of earning $2 per post, but few can deny that the very concept of paying citizen journalists is something of a novelty. also accepts photo and video content. Some notable self-proclaimed successes of GroundReport are listed here.

Screenshot from

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br> <b><i><blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options