AllVoices, a fast-growing citizen journalism platform, is announcing significant expansion today. The startup is launching global news desks in 30 different cities around the world, where both professional and citizen journalists will provide regular in-country reports from the ground. With the news desks, citizen reporters will be able to receive assignments from professional journalists. Cities with news desks include Baghdad, Beijing, Islamabad, London, Nairobi, and Shanghai.
AllVoices allows anyone to contribute blog posts, images, videos and other observations, on local and global news. The site’s proprietary technology (AllVoices has filed for three patents) will tag, rank and sort news based on a global, regional, country and city pages and will determine what is breaking news and popular (in terms of phases of a news cycle).
The system will also filter for spam, police the site, fact check each user report for credibility and assign a credibility rating to each news report. The site also lets users file reports from their cell phone via MMS and SMS, which is helpful to users in countries where computer usage is low but mobile device usage is high. The end goal is to provide a 360 degree view of reported news that also has a multimedia view of what’s happening in the world.
AllVoices, which recently raised $3 million in funding, is seeing significant use traction and is even approaching the traffic of more established sites like CNN’s iReport. The site currently has a community of 300,000 citizen reporters and is seeing close to 5 million unique visitors per month.
The brainchild of Amra Tareen, AllVoices was launched by Tareen and her co-founders in 2008. A former VC at Sevin Rosen Funds, Tareen recognized the importance of the citizen voice in everyday news in 2005 when she was an aid worker in Pakistan following the catastrophic earthquakes that caused massive damage and deaths in the country. The startup will also be focusing on expanding coverage in the U.S. in the near future.