Orato

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Orato is an international news Web site that showcases first person accounts from the protagonists and witnesses of events.

It was recognized as one of the top 12 news websites in the world by the 2008 Webby Awards, called the Oscars of the Internet by The New York Times, receiving approximately 10,000 visits per day, up to 55,000, from a mostly American demographic.

Anybody can post a story at Orato as long as it is a demonstrably true story that follows Orato’s guidelines.

The name of the site comes from the Latin and it means "I speak". The idea of eyewitness accounts inspired Orato’s founder, Sam Yehia in the late 1990s to launch a citizen journalism site whose motto is: "True Stories From Real People”. Yehia said it is designed to be the “CNN of the individual”.

In 2000, following focus group and survey study analysis, an early version of Orato.com went online and was awarded "Yahoo Site of the Week".

The site showcases stories from around the world and currently has registrants from 66 countries.

About 30% of the site's content is written by the Orato staff, while the majority of articles is written by other freelance contributors and ordinary citizens. Similar open source perspective on news reporting has been explored by Wikinews, with the added distinction that any user can edit articles at any time, while in Orato, only editors or the original author can edit a story.

Story ideas come directly from correspondents or are based on assignments from Orato editors (See, for example, the current Top Ten Story Ideas. Users can choose from 11 story categories, including Current Events, Entertainment, Health and Science, Sports, Lifestyles, Travel and Adventure, EBuzz, Love and Sex, Mysteries and Podium.

Readers can rate stories on the site from one to five stars.

Orato’s contributors and correspondents registration site was launched on June 2005. The site with all its functionalities and sections was officially a year later, in June 2006.

As recently as July 2, 2013, the site was not working.

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