Is crowdfunding the future of quality journalism?
Freedom of information versus copyright, pirates versus artists and journalists: when it comes to the availability and expenses of content on the Internet, conflicting interests collide. And, in the case of socially relevant information in particular, it is difficult to decide who is in the right: the journalist who has put a lot of time and travel into research and expects reasonable payment for his quality articles? Or the citizen for whom information about politics, economy and society satisfy a fundamental need that also lower-income users must not be excluded from?
There are numerous debates on the subject; the age of Internet is acclaimed as being ground-breaking for journalistic equality and feared as the end of quality journalism.
The truth might be somewhere in between, and perhaps journalists, publishers and users will have to be creative and develop new models for the communication of knowledge on the Internet. Such as the mediafunders.net platform.
In addition to the principles of crowdsourcing (Internet users create journalistic texts), the crowdfunding principle will also find its way into journalism.
The site is currently under construction, but the plan goes as follows:
The freelance journalist presents the idea for his next large story to the platform: local, national, international, topics from all areas are welcome. How much will it cost to realise the project including travel expenses, material and required working time? The crowd, made up of private persons, organisations, media makers and companies then decide: is the topic relevant? Should the article be realised as presented? If yes, donations will be collected until the amount needed has been contributed. Then the journalist will have to complete the article and per Creative Commons licence, place it at the disposal of the public free of charge. But the platform will also function the other way round: the crowd can suggest topics they want to have written by professional journalists. Journalists can respond to the advertisement and then work on it for a predetermined fee.
In both cases the following applies: the journalist receives payment for his work and the public has free access to relevant information. A model for the future! On the other hand: What happens if lobbyists and corporations misuse the platform? Will journalists be corruptible?
We would like to hear your opinion, please leave a comment!Picture by Viktor Mildenberger / pixelio.de