GroundReport is a global citizen journalism platform that enables anyone to publish news reports and videos. 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 from a range of Creative Commons licenses. In May 2009, GroundReport implemented a vetting system that requires review and approval of every contributor. GroundReport has a strict copyright policy and distributed vetting system. Plagiarized and copyright-infringing material is prohibited from GroundReport, and offending users are banned from the site.
The New York-based company was founded by Rachel Haot (née Rachel Sterne) in 2006, inspired by her work reporting on Darfur as an intern at the United Nations. A digital news network, GroundReport is syndicated to Google News.
According to Adweek, GroundReport received 29,187 unique visitors in December 2010, down from 60,802 monthly unique visitors earlier that year. The same article questioned GroundReport's influence as a news organization: "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.'"
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, including the Associated Press, Reuters and New York Times, GroundReport was the only citizen news source.
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.
In a CNNMoney interview, founder Sterne spoke live with a contributor from Kenya and described plans to expand GroundReport with regional editions. On September 17, 2008, GroundReport launched an Editor Program enabling selected contributors to revise all content on the site. Coverage in 2008 included personal narratives of election day and breaking updates during the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Sterne was named one of 'America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs' by BusinessWeek in 2009. GroundReport's major recent coverage has included the Iranian protests and Haiti earthquake aftermath.
GroundReport.com is owned and operated by Open News Platform Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation domiciled in the State of New York, United States. Donations to GroundReport are tax deductible in the United States. Volunteers from Injustice Anywhere came on board in July 2015 to help with restructuring. The site relaunched with a new look on September 22, 2015.