This is not just about getting the money; it is about creating a faithful community of readers. In a way, they are searching for the lost group of loyal subscribers to traditional newspapers who would call the newsroom in times of crisis as if journalists were family.
Monday July 6 saw the launch of The Ferret, a new Scottish investigative journalism platform, which joins an expanding list of media business models benefitting from crowdfunding. Given the seemingly increased popularity of this funding route many media players will understandably be asking if this source of income is for them. In this article we explore some of the benefits – and potential pitfalls – anyone exploring these channels needs to consider.
Crowdfunding is the process of convincing a large group of people to contribute small sums of money toward a specific project, usually via the Internet. It is helping redefine the fundraising landscape. Whether you’re interested in raising money for one story, your publication or broadcast, or founding a new organization, crowdfunding has become an alternative approach for financing the launch of new journalism projects. Today, there are hundreds of crowdfunding sites worldwide. They are growing quickly, and collectively these sites have raised billions of dollars for all kinds of projects, from tech start-ups to innovative new products.
At a time when the media is struggling to support serious journalism, investigative reporters increasingly are turning to crowdfunding. The field is growing quickly and success stories abound, but the challenges are many. For our latest resource page, GIJN has gathered tips and strategies from the best sites and blogs, and done a guide to global and regional crowdfunding sites most suited for journalists. Let us know what we’ve missed!
Greg Palast’s approach to investigative journalism can be summed up in one phrase: Stand up for the underdogs, and take on the fatcats. His hard-hitting reports on corporations like ExxonMobil, politicians like Bush, and shadowy institutions like vulture funds stem from an impulse to challenge those players with the power to bend the rules to their private advantage. That’s why functioning democracies need people like Palast.