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Posts Tagged ‘crowdsourcing’

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.

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BBG Launches Mobile First, Live-Reporting Platform

relay1Say what you will about the government, but it might have just changed how we think of breaking news platforms. Go figure.

The Office of Digital and Design Innovation at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has released Relay, a mobile first platform for real-time reporting.

It’s interesting from both the backend and the consumer’s experience. In terms of the CMS, it’s not hard to train reporters how to use it, according to Randy Abramson, Director of Audio and Video Projects at the BBG. Reporters in the field submit content via email, by including the content type (text, video, audio) and the designated hashtag for a story in the subject line. Says Abramson, “then you just include your message in the email and it’s filtered through the system.”

Editors can also assign multiple permissions and stories. Some content, like a video interview, can be published immediately. Other breaking news content will be sent to a queue to be reviewed, verified, and fact checked. Says Abramson:

Fact checking is a definite concern for the BBG and our services….At the same time, there are a lot of types of stories that don’t have to go through the same type of fact checking as a breaking news story. If you’re covering SXSW or something, you can  publish very quickly.relay-mandela-death-pakistan2

For the news consumer, it’s easy to follow breaking, real-time reporting. Each story has a unique URL, so you don’t have to already be following Voice of America, for example, or download an app. Instead of searching through various social media feeds for info, it’s all collected on the Relay site.

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Added Features for Vourno, the News Centric Crowdfunding Platform

vournologo1This past spring, I wrote about Vourno, a crowdfunding platform for the news. This week, they’ve added an “upload a video” feature in an effort to “promote immediate growth and content to [their] network and opens up [the] site to journalists around the globe seeking another distribution platform to showcase their work.”

Of course, you’ve always been able to upload a video onto Vourno, but it had to be through their “create a story” feature. Now journalists can link to a Vimeo or YouTube account or upload an actual video file, put it up for the public to fund or watch, and gain exposure.

In an effort to boost participation, Vourno offered $50 on the launch date, November 5th, to any journalist who uploaded a video. Co-founder Joe Verdirame couldn’t elaborate on the number of users who uploaded videos just yet, but told me via email that the promo has “set them in a positive direction.”

Since their US launch, Vourno has launched in Canada, and the U.K. and is planning on opening up shop in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Spain in the coming year.

Have you used the site yet? Have a news video you want to upload?

On the Media Asks Listeners to ‘Be the Journalist’ With Web Tool

otmOn The Media, the NPR podcast, is part media reporting, part commentary and part investigative journalism organization. And I’m not just saying that because the pledge drive is going on.

Sometimes they just fall into it. A few weeks ago, OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman and her family were detained “for hours” at the US- Canadian border. She produced a piece about the ordeal that you can listen to here. On the most recent show, they followed up with more questions for the Department of Homeland Security — questions that are still unanswered.

So, OTM produced an online tool for listeners to contact their representatives on the relevant oversight committees and “shed light on the DHS.” There are supplied questions and fields to use to report back directly to OTM. You can see, and use, the tool below.

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A New Crowdfunding Platform Lets You Host and Customize Your Project

These days, it’s almost a shock whenever startups, no matter their goal, aren’t somehow associated with a crowdfunding website.

Between Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, Kickstarter and others, various journalism projects and tech companies would have never materialized if it weren’t for the generosity of others and online platforms that have made it fairly foolproof to contribute and receive donations.

But as it turns out, Crowdtilt, a Web-based crowdsourcing effort, wants to make it even easier for people (and by people I mean journalists) to manage the funds they raise for their endeavors.

Crowdtilt has launched a public version of its spinoff Crowdhoster, a site that allows users to host and easily manage their own campaigns.

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