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Examiner.com is a Denver-based network of aggregated local websites with posts written by thousands of freelancers.
Examiner.com, which was founded in 2006 and reinvented in 2008, produces search engine-friendly articles, often locally based, that are typically made up of aggregated parts from other websites, often building on widely searched-for topics. Its unedited articles are written by 40,000 freelance contributors.
Examiner.com increased significantly was among the web’s fastest-growing news sites in 2009, largely based on its success in appearing near the top of Google searches. It now operates in more than 100 cities in the United States and Canada.
Examiner.com has drawn criticism for its writers’ low pay, which is based on pageviews and advertising clicks, as well as its lack of editorial oversight. Its writers have also been accused of plagiarism. In April 2011, it responded to that criticism by producing a white paper about its content quality that proposed offering quality-based incentives for writers.
In 2009, Examiner.com bought NowPublic, a Vancouver-based global citizen journalism site launched in 2005, for about $25 million. The two outlets continue to maintain separate sites, and NowPublic laid off several staff members in early 2010. NowPublic sold stories and photos to the Associated Press from 2008 to 2009, before it was purchased by Examiner.com.
In December 2011, Examiner.com began providing content for CBS Local Digital Media sites.
Backfence was a network of user-driven hyperlocal news sites that launched in 2005 and closed in 2007. Backfence was founded in 2005 by Mark Potts and Susan DeFife with five staff members and two community sites in the Washington, D.C., area. It raised $3 million in local and national investment and eventually expanded to 13…