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Posts Tagged ‘kickstarter’

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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FOIA Machine Helps Journalists File Information Requests

We all know what a headache it is to file Freedom of Information Act requests to governing bodies. Wired calls this tedious practice that reporters endure “government hell.”

The whole process is a time-suck: crafting the request letter in such a way that it will be read and actually considered, figuring out where in the bureaucracy to send the document in the first place and finally, waiting on a response – which will more than likely be a big fat “no,” for one reason or another. Or, if it’s a “yes,” it takes months or longer, and by the time you’ve received a response, you’ve moved on with your life.

Some people pay big bucks for any substantial amount of information from government agencies (usually 100 pages or more). Despite its necessary function, FOIA can be a real inconvenience, but the information that can be gleaned from a successful FOIA request is invaluable to reporting and more importantly, operating as a watchdog for those with the most power.

To aid with the method of asking for non-classified docs, specifically for the purpose of accountability reporting, the Center for Investigative Reporting has launched what they call the FOIA Machine, a mechanism for automating and organizing the process of requesting public records.

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Why Was Planet Money’s Kickstarter Campaign So Successful?

At the time of this writing, NPR’s Planet Money has raised $524,286 on Kickstarter. The project has a day left, and is a pretty remarkable feat considering the sum is more than 10 times their initial goal of $50,000. So how did they do it? Read more

‘For Journalism’: News Developers Launch A Kickstarter To Raise Money To Teach Data Journalism For All

A new Kickstarter campaign kicked off this weekend with a goal of raising $32,000 to create educational tools for the “next generation of news-application developers.” If they reach their goal, these are the first eight courses they’ll teach:

It’s a lofty goal and a huge commitment from each instructor, seeing as they each have day jobs at high-profile news organizations. The great Dave Stanton will be the ringleader of the group, overseeing day-to-day outreach and helping the instructors stay on goal.
The mission of this project is admirable, and would be one of the best educational resources out there for journalists.  Each course contains an ebook, screencasts, code repositories and forums.
Pledging to their campaign comes with benefits:
  • $5+: You’ll get a Twitter shoutout
  • $20+:  Access to one topic of your choosing
  • $100+: Access to seven topics of your choosing
  • $110+: Every course in the batch plus a t-shirt
  • $500+: Access to all materials for a team of 10
  • $10,000+: All university students/staff get access, plus help strategizing around integration

 Donate here.

How To Crowdfund Your Journalism Project

Crowdfunding seems to be happening everywhere these days. From small art-projects to large scale hardware ventures, the Internet community is eager to send cash towards a cause they believe in, and it’s a great way to fill in the financial gaps when pursuing an in-depth project on behalf of a publication (say, a trip out to the Middle East for a local paper) or to start a completely new publication.

And, given the recent (and major) successes of journalism projects like NPR and Public Radio Exchange’s 99% Invisible and long-form science feature magazine Matterthere’s plenty of stories out there that prove funding a journalism project can work. If you’re strapped for cash and looking to make your dreams happen, crowdfunding is one of the best ways to do it.

However, it’s important to note that a funding campaign for a magazine is very different from a funding campaign for an iPhone-linked smart watch. Because there isn’t a high-value product on the line, people won’t necessarily be clamoring for your work alone.

Here are some smart tactics you should consider when embarking on your own crowd funding. Good luck!

1. Make a Video That Shows You Off

Here’s a piece of Crowdfunding 101: If you want to get funded, make a video. Staticstics show that projects with an engaging video attached to their funding appeals boost their chances of full funding to 50%. But, it’s not as easy as it sounds — creating a dynamic video about an unmade (or as-yet undeveloped) journalism project can lead to lot of head scratching. Read more

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