Tag Archives: crowdfunding

The future of journalism: Will journalists be paying out of their own pockets?

While talking to an editor at a newspaper that had made a splash with a crowdsourced investigative story a couple years ago, I remember the subject of payment coming up, to which she made an interesting point. The citizens who contribute their time and effort have a personal interest in the story and do it because they want to help the paper – this is a citizenry interacting with its hometown newspaper for the betterment of the community and for the good of democracy. It was a valid point. After all, if they paid their citizens, they wouldn’t just be citizens anymore, they’d be employees.

News organizations have long been excused from digital sharecropping, a label that has been attached to crowdsourced businesses that exploit free labor from the public without offering compensation. Perhaps, media entities benefit from the altruistic and democratic nature of information sharing. The millions of Internet users that voluntarily put content out for free are more than a testament to that.

But where should the line be drawn? When should news organizations and media conglomerates begin to have to start paying for utilizing the time and resources of their volunteer contributors while holding complete ownership of the product – or at the very least, making revenue off of an individual’s product? Continue reading

Dave Cohn in the Spotlight

Alex Gamela talks to Dave Cohn, founder of the non-profit, crowdfunding journalism project Spot.us, winner of a Knight News Challenge grant, and a suggested new model for the news business. On the eve of launching the Spot.us official website, Dave told OJB how he is putting his ideas into practice, and his views on the current state of journalism.

Four months after winning the KNC grant, Dave Cohn is a happy man. He started with a wiki where he presented and tested the different sides to his project, and he quickly managed to fund three stories. Now it is on its way to fund a fourth one. All of this even before having an official website. Continue reading