Imagine a world where media is organized, controlled and filtered by the audience for whom it is created.
That means people get to choose what stories they would like to hear, what new trendy topics they would like to follow. While we are visualizing this idea, it has already began to shape in reality by the way of ‘Crowd-funded Journalism’
As the word suggests, Crowd-funded Journalism is a journalism which is financially backed by the donations made by general public.
Traditional Journalism faces challenges like ownership, media concentration and now with the emergence of internet there also has been shift in the way people receive their news. Thus severely affecting the revenue which in turn, leads to budget cuts and downsizing of the newsroom staff. Such financial pressure affects the quality of news as focus is kept on earning digital revenues the reporters spend less time in detailed analysis of the stories to uncover the hidden facts.
Crowd-funded Journalism can be seen as a proactive measure to protect the core values of Journalism such as accuracy and impartiality. Such journalism has been a boon to journalists who want to stabilize their careers and still have their personal identity which sets them apart from Corporate media.
Crowd-funded Journalism has been successfully promoted on websites such as Spot.us and kick-starter. The way this type of journalism works is, a registered journalist provides a short description about the subject of his proposed news report along with requested funding amount to such crowdfunding websites.
If approval is given by the website, this description is shared on the website with an aim of collecting funds. If audience finds the story interesting they can donate to it through the website.
Thus from a bird’s eye-view, we can say that Crowdfunding has brought a radical change in Journalism as it makes it more independent and also it gives an active role to the news reader. It enables journalism to keep up with the ever changing needs of the audience and shifts a considerable amount of power from journalists to audience. While doing this, it helps the Journalists to give them a much needed Independence and also encourages them to think outside the box and follow the stories which although important, have been left outside the limelight by the Corporate media.
The only downside of this type of Journalism, is that in the world where media plays an important role as an independent entity in democracy, which is separate from the government and the general public. It somewhat blurs the line between Journalists and Readers which can create ‘Conflict of Interests’.
Before signing off, we can say that in the era where people love to have their own work space and full control over their work, crowd-funded journalism gives journalists to engage in freelance writing.
Although, this concept is relatively new in India, with changing times this concept is sure gain momentum and popularity it deserves.
- For more information on crowd funded journalism visit Wiley online library.