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Examiner.com expanding to 5 Canadian cities Add to ...

Examiner.com, the U.S. web site based on so-called citizen journalism, is expanding outside its borders with the launch of its service in five Canadian cities.

The Denver-based media company is rolling out its format of local news - provided by an army of recruits in communities across the U.S. - to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

"We've got 200 examiners [the company's term for contributors]in Canada already," said Leonard Brody, the president of Clarity Digital, Examiner.com's parent company.

Examiners are vetted to ensure they are qualified to produce local content on their chosen topic and are trained by Examiner.com staff.

Contributors are paid a nominal sum for their efforts.

Examiner.com already has more than 20,000 examiners serving 162 local markets across the U.S. and is planning a beachhead in Britain and other countries beginning next year.

Clarity Digital is part of the U.S. media empire of reclusive, devoutly Christian billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose assets included the Los Angeles Kings NHL hockey team.

"The focus is connecting people to their communities and the information they care about," said Mr. Brody.

The company's goal is to tap into the lucrative local web-based advertising market, he said.

He would not say whether Examiner.com, which launched last year in the U.S., is profitable.

Christopher Dornan, associate professor at Carleton University's School of Journalism, says Examiner.com is part of the trend to so-called hyperlocal information.

"It's advertising-friendly. It's not going to invest in paying vigorous attention to city hall.

"It's another element in the changing media environment that is nibbling away at traditional media, like newspapers."

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