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Posts Tagged ‘crowdfunding’

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.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!

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

Journalism Crowdfunder Helps Climate Micro-Pub Launch

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 11.22.30 PMWhile perusing Columbia Journalism Review’s website this morning, I was struck by a story detailing the beginnings of an environmentally-themed “micro-publication.” But more than the project itself (these things are popping up all over the place, it seems), the digital magazine Climate Confidential’s partner caught my eye.

Beacon, a platform that seeks to “empower” writers by allowing readers to access the work of their favorite reporters for $5 per month, will host Climate Confidential as its first publication on the site — but only under one condition. Using its own brand of crowdsourcing, Beacon plans to lift Climate Confidential off the ground if they can gather 800 readers to back the climate-focused reporting venture.

Typically, you can become a part of the Beacon community by chipping in $5 each month to your favorite writer (I vetted it, and there is plenty of good journalism to be discovered there), but Beacon evidently thinks the reporting and writing brains behind Climate Confidential (comprised of a six-woman team of freelance environmental/tech journalists) will be quality enough to host the publication on its website as a special “project”.

The digital pub, only available to those who contribute via Beacon’s platform, will still get its own branding and logo as a microsite under the Beacon umbrella and will enjoy the benefits of long-term financial help from those who feel the mainstream media is neglecting stories on the “forefront of research and development in cleantech, the water-energy-food nexus, transportation and public health,” wrote the Climate Confidential team.

Read more

New Web Pub Focuses on ‘American Renewal’ and Compelling Readers to Act

NationSwellIf you’re looking for something other than cute animals or faux civil rights controverseries to inspire you on the internet, it’s arrived. It’s called NationSwell, a new media company that focuses on good things. Forget if it bleeds, it leads; NationSwell’s headlines are about non-profits conquering food deserts, environmental iniatives, health policy and innovation, and eduation.

It’s like the 2008 Obama campaign met Henry Blodget. The site is a mix of aggregated and original reporting by a team of seasoned freelance writers, led by founder Greg Behrman and managing editor Cathy Sharick, formerly of Time.com.

And some stories, although it’s still in beta, are connected to direct ways to take action, whether it be donating to the cause or tweeting a representative associated with the issue. Unlike other media companies focused on “things that matter,” like Upworthy — NationSwell wants readers to do more than just hit a share button. With recent trends and successes in crowdfunding, social entrepreneurship, and viral content, it’s not a bad business model.

You can follow them @nationswell.

The Magazine Turns to Kickstarter to Fund A Collection of Stories


We’ve already discussed how the media is increasingly turning to crowdfunding as a source of financing.  The Magazine, an all-digital pub focused on non-fiction reporting and essays (about a variety of geeky topics), is the latest outlet to hop on the crowdfunding bandwagon.

The editors decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a print and eBook featuring a selection of writing from their first year. As of this writing, the campaign has earned $31,015 and they have nine days to go to reach their goal of $48,000.

10,000 Words spoke with executive editor Glenn Fleishman (via email) about his reasons for using Kickstarter: ”We had a lot of options at our disposal, including soliciting pre-orders directly over whatever period of time we chose until we reached a set amount,” Fleishman said. “Without a call to action, however, it’s hard to get people to pull the trigger unless you’re very popular and have something timely as well as compelling. We felt that crowdfunding would let us show our cards: We need to raise this much to pay everyone involved and produce a good-looking book.” Read more

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