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AllVoices, Formerly Masala, Launches New User-Gen News Service

imageThere have been numerous attempts at so-called “citizen journalism” news models.. The most successful model has been, well, blogs in general. Getting users to contribute journalism to some unified site has been more of a mixed bag. A recent launch in this space: AllVoices, previously known as Masala. Last summer the SF-based company raised $4.5 million led by VantagePoint Venture Partners, while still in stealth. The site, which recently came out of beta, culls news from a variety of feeds, a la Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News, while also allowing users to contribute news directly. In addition to news organized by category, content is also featured on a world map. The challenge, as always: building up a critical mass and filtering for quality. Vancouver-based NowPublic is probably the most well known in the space.

More from CNET: “Founder Tareen is a 39-year-old former venture capitalist at Sevin Rosen Funds, where she invested in IT and telecom. She holds an undergraduate degree in electronics and computer science engineering from the University of New South Wales in Australia, and an MBA from Harvard…Tareen got the idea for AllVoices when she traveled to Pakistan to volunteer after a massive earthquake rocked the country in 2005. She wanted to share her impressions of the devastation and lacked a platform.”