Crowdfunded Journalism: 10 Takeaways from the Pew Study

Last week, the Pew Research Center released Crowdfunded Journalism: A Small but Growing Addition to Publicly Driven Journalism. The report highlights that, while contributions to crowdfunding journalism are modest compared with other categories, it is indeed a growing trend. The report found that crowdfunding represents a new, niche segment of nontraditional journalism, gives voice and visibility to efforts that otherwise would likely slip under the radar, provides new sources of sustainability, and contributes to public engagement.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 4.30.03 PM

An Investigative Journalist Leaps From Print to Digital

Oscar Castilla spent 12 years at El Comercio, Peru’s most important daily newspaper, honing his reporting skills with investigations of organized crime and corruption. Then in 2014, Castilla and some colleagues from the investigative unit decided to leave the paper for editorial reasons. “The editor at the time had one view of journalism and we had another,” he told me in an interview. “We wanted to do some innovative things and the organization was against it.” So they decided to launch their own news publication online, Ojo Público (Public Eye).

Henk cropped

Help GIJN Support Global Investigative Reporting

Journalism is under threat. Investigative reporting, in particular, is under attack as never before, and we need your help. For 15 years, the Global Investigative Journalism Network has trained and supported the world’s most determined reporters as they’ve dug into corruption and abuses of power. We’ve helped bring watchdog reporting to the far corners of the Earth, and today investigative journalists are in more countries doing tougher reporting than we ever imagined.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 3.52.55 PM

A Global Assault on Nonprofits

In an era of increasing hostility to independent media, one of the bright spots is the rapid expansion of journalism nonprofits around the world — training, promoting, and reporting on stories that otherwise would never see the light of day. But a dangerous trend now threatens the progress our colleagues have made on press freedom and watchdog reporting: a crackdown on nonprofit organizations. Restrictions on international funding account for more than a third of the measures since 2012. With that in mind, we are pleased to reprint this important story from the Journal of Democracy, detailing the global scope of the backlash.

Pentagon 4

The Pentagon, Propaganda, and Independent Media

Gone are the days of complaints about information operations and psychological operations (PSYOPS) undermining media development being pursued by USAID and its contractors. But those have been replaced by broader concerns that the U.S government overall may now be too focused on counter-messaging at the expense of independent media development. “We are concerned that there is an increasing shift away from supporting genuinely independent media towards what might be termed counter-propaganda and promoting counter narratives,” says James Deane, director of policy and learning at BBC Media Action.


Investigative Journalists Form Alliance in Latin America

Cross-border cooperation was the big takeaway from a three-day meeting of investigative journalists from 17 countries in San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 4-6. Billed as “The First Caribbean Meeting of Investigative Journalists: Tracking the Stories that Connect Us,” one aim was to create a counterweight to the power of organized crime by cooperating across borders, according to Carla Minet of the Center of Investigative Journalism of Puerto Rico.


Media Innovators Inspire Hope Around the World

A year ago I wrote an article about digital media startups around the world and attempts to categorize and analyze them. Some of that material is now a bit dated, and I have come across some other analyses and lists that have good road maps for media entrepreneurs.


Innovate and Investigate: How OCCRP Gets the Story

Attending the recent Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Lillehammer – GIJC15 — demonstrated the incredible growth of cross-border reporting. Present were not only reporters from 121 countries, but also reporters from the largest newspapers like the New York Times to the smallest outlets like the four-person KRIK nonprofit in Belgrade. All were there talking about their stories and teaching the skills they’ve gained.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 5.45.00 PM

Creative Ideas for Funding Independent Journalism

From South Africa to Brazil; from Yangon to Kabul, I heard media editors sing varying versions of the same lyrics: I feel the earth move under my feet. The media business model has now cracked all over the world. Subscriptions to newspapers and magazines drop by the thousands; traditional advertising revenue vanishes into thin air; and digital advertising revenue is poor and only seems to work for web giants. Media have certainly learnt how to increase the value of Facebook or Twitter in their quest to fish readers for their stories, but have plenty of trouble in finding how to increase the value of their own outlets.

Tribune Fest 2014 Closing Media Panel 2

Sustainability: Tips on Holding Live Events That Support Journalism

Just as an article or a gallery of photos can shine a light on an issue for the public, so can these in-person gatherings. Some media organizations are putting on full-fledged festivals in the same vein as South by Southwest and TED. These gatherings include panels of experts, one-on-one conversations with major newsmakers and presentations that explore ground-breaking topics. In other words, they’re an entirely new way of informing and providing information — undoubtedly journalistic functions.