Center for Citizen Media Rotating Header Image

Crowdfunding Journalism

Mark Glaser: MediaShift . Can Crowdfunding Help Save the Journalism Business? Bands do it. Filmmakers do it. President-elect Barack Obama made an artform out of it. “It” is crowdfunding, getting micro-donations through the Internet to help fund a venture. The question is whether crowdfunding can work on a larger scale to help fund traditional journalism, which is being hit by the twin storms of readership and ad declines at newspapers and the economic recession.

0 Comments on “Crowdfunding Journalism”

  1. #1 Seth Finkelstein
    on Nov 13th, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Serious question: Would “No, it doesn’t work” ever be accepted as an answer?

    [Tedious: By “No, it doesn’t work”, I don’t mean “can small projects be done to give a talking-point?”, of course they can. I mean more like “it’s a bandaid over a gushing chest wound”.]

  2. #2 Mark
    on Nov 13th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    good question (as a crowdfunded journalist working out of Galveston, I hope so =)

  3. #3 Mark Glaser
    on Nov 13th, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Hey Seth,
    I think “no it doesn’t work” is totally possible. I think it will probably work in some cases and not in others. I doubt very seriously it will save journalism on its own, but that and all the other experiments in business models need to be tried. Better to try and fail then to just keep complaining about the gushing blood all the time…

  4. #4 Jon Garfunkel
    on Nov 14th, 2008 at 6:42 am


    Good piece, as always. I like Simon’s comment: “What is paying a subscription for the NY Times but crowdsourcing (with extra ad revenue thrown in just like Jim Hopkins has on his blog) at a large enough scale to pay for really good reporting at the local and national scale?”

    As per when crowdsourcing works, it is no different than fundraising– either a crisis is needed (covering a war, presidential election), or sheer reputation (Sullivan & Marshall). Of course, transparency cuts both ways — we can now ask, did Ana Marie Cox do $7000 of reporting? (Maybe a private Twitter feed could be a unique value add.)

    Kudos for Hopkins for his revenue model. Public companies need public watchdogs.


  5. #5 Rupert Murdoch raille les pleurnicheries de la presse écrite « everybooks
    on Nov 18th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    […] qu’il y a eu un véritable consentement mutuel sur le fait… de se revoir dans 6 mois ! Pour Dan Gillmor, auteur du best-seller We The Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People, autrement […]