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crowdfunding

A Joan Didion Documentary Is in the Works

joandidionUpdate: The project reached its funding goal in roughly 24 hours of being posted.

Griffin Dunne, nephew of famed journalist Joan Didion, launched a Kickstarter campaign today for a documentary of his aunt. Titled We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live after that memorable first line out of Didion’s The White Album, the film will be the first and only documentary made about the writer.

On its first day of funding, the Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed half of its $80,000 goal. Dunne is an Oscar-nominated director, and is partnering with director Susanne Rostock for the project. From their campaign page:

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NPR’s ‘Snap Judgement’ Looks for Millennial Support on Kickstarter

Do you want the biggest, baddest season of Snap Judgement ever?  How anyone could resist Glynn Washington‘s request for donations is beyond me.

Washington, the host of the Snap Judgement podcast you can hear on NPR, and his team are trying to attract new audiences and raise funds for their next season. Snap Judgement is one way public radio has reached out to millennials; in their own words the show is about engagement, according to a release about the crowdfunding:

For the past few years, this multi-platform radio show, unlike any others on NPR, has been drawing from across the demographic spectrum.  Storytelling with a beat, the show uses music and video, incorporates live stage productions that sell out nationwide, encourages web downloads, Twitter and interactive dialogue. In short, Snap Judgement is everything public radio is not known for.

Even more interestingly, Washington says in the video that they’re hitting up the audience last in their fundraising. With backing from PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he ditches the usual public radio drive schtick of: “you owe us, really, for all the good that we do,” and gets right to the point: donate for a t-shirt or concert tickets. Donate because you actually like us; which is what Kickstarter is all about to.

The campaign ends on October 10th and they’re almost at their goal of $150,000 to keep the lights on. If you donate, they’ll produce the “biggest and baddestseason yet. It’s not a bad deal. Especially if you can make public radio cool again (was it ever?).

HuffPo Will Never Hire You

fergusonfellowshipI would begin by ranting about new lows in paying journalists, but the events in Ferguson are already so gut wrenching on their own that it would be a bit dramatic.

That doesn’t mean that crowdfunding a journo is ok. Today, The Huffington Post announced that it is going to allow local resident Mariah Stewart to train with their staffer Ryan Reilly to:

…cover the ongoing story of Ferguson, tracking the federal investigation into the killing of Michael Brown and reporting on the empaneled grand jury. She’ll monitor the activity of the local and county police forces once the national spotlight dims, and will learn the intricacies of public records requests in an effort to divine the funding sources and uses of military gear in the county.

They’re calling it the Ferguson Fellowship and it will all be done through Beacon. Is this a good idea? It’s certainly true that the best images and live reporting from what I’ve come to think of as the seventh level of hell, has come from residents on the ground.

fergusonfellowship2

But, but. Why can’t they just hire another reporter? Because while I’m all about empowering and training and teaching young journalists (and it’s nice that she’s a woman), I also know a lot of people who paid large universities (like Ms. Stewart) to learn the craft and could sure as heck use a job this fall. Mariah could probably use a salary with benefits and some paid sick and vacation days, too. The Beacon campaign only goes through if it reaches $40,000. I am curious about how that is paid out to her? Or just to HuffPo? Do they throw Reilly a little tip for his troubles?

For some reason, if it were the local Ferguson paper saying “hey, we’re broke and need to hire someone to help continue good coverage” I would be more interested. That The Huffington Post can’t spare $40,000 a year for a reporter makes this freelancer want to curl up into a ball and listen to the new Taylor Swift album, a sure a sign as any that the world is coming to an end.

And then, some rewards for donating. For $2,000 you can get a shout out from the HuffPo Twitter account. Seriously.

What do you think about the Fellowship? Let us know @10,000Words.

‘Bellingcat’ Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Unite Investigative Citizen Journalists

BellingcatCitizen journalism is more prevalent than ever with the upsurge in social media platforms. Now that so much information is available at our fingertips, it seems that reporters — both formally trained and novice — are even hungrier for accurate news.

A crowdfunding campaign by a man named Eliot Higgins has the goal of bringing together citizen journalists who are curious about hard news issues through an open-source website. His vision is for contributors all over the world to continue coverage of “Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Jihadists, Shia armed groups, the UK phone hacking scandal, police corruption, and more,” he wrote on Kickstarter.

Bellingcat, as he calls it, is based on the idea that citizen journalists have the power to do much of the investigation that traditional media outlets do. YouTube and Reddit are just two hugely important tools that anyone who values verification and getting to the bottom of a news story can use, and it’s totally open-sourced. Social media does the same thing, Higgins wrote on his Kickstarter page.

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Kickstarter Launches Journalism-Focused Category

journokickstarterToday, Kickstarter announced that it will be giving journalism projects their very own space. So whether you want to fund a magazine or a reporting adventure, you have a place to do it.

Along with the subcategory, The Guardian announced that they will manage their own curated page of projects. There are over 900 journalism focused projects, so it’s nice to have someone organize them for you. For good reason, too. On the main Journalism page, stories about drones, Iran at the World Cup, and bitcoin explainers are shown alongside “When a Ginger Travels Abroad.” On the Guardian‘s page, most of the projects are already funded — like the automated FOIA requests from the CIR. But there are still causes you can get behind, like this “shamelessly retro” paper delivery service in San Franciso. Of course.

Have a journalism project on Kickstarter? Tweet them to us @10,000Words or share in the comments.

Image via Kickstarter

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