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GroundReport logo.png
Type of site
Available inEnglish
Current statusSold to Search-Ladder, LLC

GroundReport was a citizen journalism website that enabled contributors to publish news reports and videos. The site was owned by a nonprofit organization called Open News Platform until mid-2017. Since the site did not attract enough donations and advertisement revenue to sustain it, Open News Platform sold the domain and platform to Search-Ladder, LLC in 2017.[1] Search-Ladder is a digital marketing agency.[2] The sale was completed in May 2017.


Journalist Rachel Sterne started in 2006. She wanted to make such a site after her experience reporting on Darfur as an intern at the United Nations.[3][4] To run GroundReport, Sterne started Open News Platform, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in New York. In 2008, she Sterne expressed a wish to expand GroundReport with regional editions.[5] In 2009, BusinessWeek named Sterne one of "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs".[6]


GroundReport used a Wikipedia-like model of volunteer editors and community feedback, combined with a star rating system. Contributors chose from a range of Creative Commons licenses.[7] On September 17, 2008, select contributors were given the ability to revise content in any article.[8] In May 2009, GroundReport implemented a vetting system that requires review and approval of every contributor.[9] GroundReport has a strict copyright policy and distributed vetting system. Contributors who plagiarized or posted copyright-infringing material were banned from the site.

Among the news stories covered by GroundReport's contributors were the United States presidential election of 2008, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests, and the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

According to Adweek, GroundReport received 29,187 unique visitors in December 2010, down from 60,802 monthly unique visitors earlier that year. The Adweek journalist commented: "Even during major events, GroundReport's influence was very small. As the BBC News reported in an article on Dec. 1, 2008, following terror attacks in Mumbai that had been covered on the site, 'it is worth noting that the original story on the GroundReport Web site has attracted fewer than 200 viewers so far, whereas untold millions have watched television reports in India and around the world.'"[10] GroundReport's content was syndicated to Google News.

In July 2015, volunteers from Injustice Anywhere began to help with restructuring, and a redesign of launched on September 22, 2015.


In June 2008, GroundReport started using 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,[11] including the Associated Press, Reuters and The New York Times, GroundReport was the only citizen news source.[12]

In the livestreaming space, GroundReport is a featured flagship channel on broadcast platform Livestream. GroundReport's live video coverage of the Democratic Debates, Aspen Institute and panel discussions with leaders like Arianna Huffington and Madeleine Albright has been featured on Huffington Post, Salon, Silicon Alley Insider and TechCrunch.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "GroundReport Will Shut Down April 30, 2017". Open News Platform. April 3, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us". Search-Ladder. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs". Businessweek. April 3, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  4. ^ Q&A with Rachel Sterne, GroundReport
  5. ^ CNNMoney: Blogging for Profit
  6. ^
  7. ^ CC citizen journalism site GroundReport re-launches; GroundReport TV launches officially - Creative Commons
  8. ^
  9. ^ MediaShift: Citizen Journalism Networks Stepping Up Editorial Standards
  10. ^ "Who and What Is Rachel Sterne?". Adweek. January 25, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  11. ^
  12. ^ YouTube: Beijing from all angles

Further reading[edit]

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