Citizen Journalism: NowPublic Acquires Truemors

Leonard Brody of NowPublic/Truemors"Crowd sourced" news network on Thursday announced its first-ever acquisition, rumor Web site Truemors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"They have a great editorial team and we want to acquire great editorial," said NowPublic CEO Leonard Brody. "We think we've done everything we can organically, so now the question is are we going to recruit, acquire, or something else."

Crowd sourcing is part of the quickly-expanding "citizen journalism" segment, which encompasses new ways for non-professional news-gatherers to participate in the reporting process.

NowPublic provides tools for people get in on the action, as users can write their own stories, and upload their own photos, or simply submit a story from somewhere else on the web. Submissions are then ranked in general categories based on the number of votes they receive from the community.



NowPublic is considered a "crowd sourced" news network because its stories rely on disparate content contributions instead of a small group of users.

"Our ever-growing eco-system of reporters is changing the way news is produced and distributed," Brody said. "Truemors helps make sense of the rumor part of the news cycle."

The deal also gives NowPublic Truemors founder and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki as chair of its advisory board.

Last year, NowPublic was tapped by The Associated Press, which purchases stories and photos from the site based on submitters' asking price. The company now claims contributing reporters in more than 5,500 cities and 160 countries.

Last summer, NowPublic closed a $10.6 million series-A round of financing led by Rho Ventures with seed investors Brightspark and the Working Opportunity Fund participating. According to Brody, NowPublic will not need more financing for quite some time due low operation costs, and growing revenue opportunities.

The company is beginning to explore the enterprise market by licensing its tools and services to companies.

"We can develop news networks focused exclusively on a company's business," said Brody. "It could effective replace the suggestion box if all relevant news is being directed to them in real time."

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