MSNBC acquires citizen journalism site

October 15, 2007 — the 11-year-old jointly-owned NBC and Microsoft news operation — is purchasing, a site specializing in citizen journalism.

MSNBC said the sites would continue to operate independently. Newsvine CEO Mike Davidson will report to Charlie Tillinghast, president of MSNBC Interactive News and publisher of

In an MSNBC report, Tillinghast said was attempting to create a community among its readers. He expressed a desire “to exploit the power of unmoderated user commentary and ranking of the news.”

With just more than 1 million monthly users, Newsvine, launched in March 2006, has merged mainstream reporting from the AP and ESPN; the contributions of individual users, who are paid for their writing; and the social media model of user-driven ranking of the news.

“MSNBC isn’t as strong in community as it needs to be,” Tillinghast said. Newsvine offers “a lot of interesting features” that he hopes to “evaluate and port to MSNBC, rather than us creating a feature they already have,” he said.

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