Citizen journalism portal GroundReport.com has added Groups– functionality that enables anyone to create a customized digital publication free of charge.
Founder Rachel Sterne said she was inspired by a discussion at the Networked Journalism Summit organized October 10th by media analyst Jeff Jarvis. During a public dialog between Sterne and NowPublic chairman Merrill Brown, Dan Pacheco of Bakersfield.com asked what citizen journalism means to small publications that are especially threatened by dwindling the revenues in print media.
Two weeks later, GroundReport Groups are here.
According to company information, Groups enable the following:
1. Customize and launch. Add logo, title, description and link. Designate your group as open (anyone can join) or closed (members must be approved). Congrats: you’ve got a website.
2. Build your team. Invite GroundReporters to join your group. Add contributors, editors and administrators (see controls at right). They can post, edit, and communicate on the group Bulletin Board.
3. Add content. Group members can publish text, images and html tags to the group publication. Stories automatically appear on the group’s dynamic front page. Each contributor earns a share of revenues based on the unique traffic to her reports.
4. Track group activity. Find out who joins your group, posts stories, edits reports or comments in the Latest Events feed.
5. Interact. Communicate with other members on the group Bulletin Board. Comment on stories. Editors and administrators can revise reports and send messages to the community.