Peace and Conflict

Award Winning Citizen Journalism – Looking back at 2008

Over the course of 2008, Groundviews published over 250 compelling contributions from ordinary Sri Lankans, award winning poets and authors, renowned academics, diplomats, civil servants, leading civil society activists and others.

Sri Lanka’s first citizen journalism website and operating without any donor funding, content from Groundviews is consistently republished in mainstream media, academic journals, books, other leading news websites and blogs and widely quoted in presentations at leading workshops and conferences locally and internationally. Content published this year ranged from essays to poetry, photos to videos, serialised narratives to academic papers and unique perspectives of life on the ground from embattled cities in the North and the “liberated” Eastern Province.

The site welcomed well over 230,000 readers in 2008 with over 3,400 substantive comments by readers. Technically, Groundviews features the most secure and sophisticated commenting system on any media website in Sri Lanka and offers content over email, mobiles and news feeds.

Groundviews was the only website from Sri Lanka shortlisted under the e-news category at the prestigious Manthan Awards in 2008. The site is ranked 146,067 on the world’s leading blog aggregation site Technorati, out of the over 17 million blogs it indexes globally. Groundviews is also the first and to date only citizen journalism website from Sri Lanka to be featured and fully indexed on Google News.

Content published on Groundviews since its launch in 2006 demonstrates how professional web based citizen journalism can strengthen progressive, civil dialogues on highly complex and inflammatory issues and topics. The site regularly publishes content that will not and cannot be published in mainstream / traditional media in Sri Lanka today. In doing so, it shows that web based citizen journalism and media can meaningfully foster vital debates on war, peace, human rights and democracy even within violent conflict.

Some of the most read content / collections in 2008

Many of these authors submitted other articles as widely read as those featured above. Clicking on their names on the site brings up a list of all articles submitted.

Some articles that generated a lot of comments and reactions from readers

Poetry by local and international award winning poets on war, peace and other topics

Videos exclusive to Groundviews

Groundviews is Sri Lanka’s first and award winning citizens journalism website features an unparalleled range of ideas, opinions and analyses on humanitarian issues, media freedom, human rights, peace, democratic governance and constitutional reform.

  • Sanjana Hattotuwa

    Dear Freddy,

    I'm glad you decided to write in almost exactly a year after your first comment. Thank you for your kind words on Groundviews and Rasika’s work with Vikalpa, which in my mind is more significant.

    A year ago you wrote in to Groundviews and said,

    පුරවැසි ජනමාධ්‍යවේදයක් ගොඩනැගිම වෙනුවෙන් ඔබගන්නා උත්සාහය අගේ කරමු.
    එහෙත් ඔබ විසින් ලේබල් ගසා ඇති පරිදි මේ වෙඩ් අඩවිය පුරවැසි ජනමාධ්‍ය වෙබ් අඩවියක් ලෙසින් අපි නොදකිමු.+
    ඒ අප දන්නා පුරවැසි ජනමාධ්‍යවෙිදයේ මුලික සංකල්ප වලට අනුවය.
    ප්‍රධාන ධාරවේ අතිබුහතරයකගේ ලිපි පළකරමින් එය පුරවැසි ජනමාධ්‍යවේදි අඩවියක් ලෙසින් නම් කිරිමට ඉක්ිමන් ‍නොවන්න.
    අප දැනට වසර 6 ක් තිස්සේ ඒකි සංකල්ප වෙනුවෙන් නිරන්තර වැඩකොටසක නිරතව සිටිමු.
    එහෙත් අප තවමත් අප පුරවැසි ජනමාධ්‍යවේදයක් ගොඩනගා ඇතැයි කියන්නට ඉක්මන් නොවෙමු.
    අප ඒ වෙනුවෙන් යම් කොටසක් කර ඇත.
    එහෙන් ඇත්ත අරුතට යන්නට තව තවත් පොරබැදිය යුතුය .
    ඔබටද ඒ සදහා ශක්තිය පතමු.

    අපි

    මීපුර ප්‍රාදේශීය පුවත්පත
    නො.200
    ශා.ජෝශප් විදිය
    මීගමුව
    031-2235089

    A year on and sadly, you say nothing new. Ergo,my response to you also remains the same.

    I trust that a year hence you will not come up again with the same set of grievances and strongly encourage you to get in touch so that you learn from our experience. Meepura on the web, in Sinhala and English in particular, looks desperately in need of some professional help which we will be pleased to provide.

    Sanjana

  • when we compare with other NGO related web site, i agree , groundviews updates very openly.
    its a good sign, and in the recent past i saw the GV reporters such as Rasika is doing a good job in covering Colombo based civil events.

    but still i have few negative comments.

    1. is it true that GV is operating without donor funding,?

    2.I strongly opposed when you worded that your site is citizen journalism site, i have noticed very openly that you have published lot articles who are no citizen journalist. i questioned how many real citizen journalist are involved in your site.

    3. if we wont satisfied ourselves by saying so, its no problem be happy, but when its come as a public docs, we have to follow the basic ethics.

    any how , i invite you to continue the struggle in developing a real citizen journalist blog., we will surely join with you in this struggle since we are already struggling,

    Freddy Gamage

  • Lolita

    i agree with freddi on certain issue –
    1. dayan seems to be the only writer who seems to be a journalist which is taking a different view, so it seems that citizen writers here are skewed to a NGO based view – hopefully we a avrage of citizen writers in 2009.

    2. wonder how many moderators are there. it might be better to have multipl moderators as it will allow greater discussion. for exaample if only one moderator – he can act god and deleat /crop on the comments, ideally lets not hog the editorial seat as citizens who's monitoring the montioners? (i.e. like the FMM situation )

    3. if a person used groundview name to write he/she should not indicate a bias as the site loosed appeal. (e.g "cities in the North and the “liberated” Eastern Province.) quoted from above article – the inverts at liberated" look a bit sarca? why does the site have to take a view. the site should be neutral if the moderator wish to take a side , he?she should comment under his/her name..

    lol looking forward for a another year of supporrting comments for Dayan

    GO DJ

  • Raj

    Groundviews,

    Thank you for putting together a "best of 2008" post and for running a well functioning website with interesting and unique content.

    Regards,

    Raj