Crowd pleasers – A new way to pay for quality journalism emerges

Newspapers have seen a number of new media outlets present both threats and opportunities over the years, from radio and TV to the Internet. Now there is a new one to add to the list – non-profit news publishers. It has been announced that the Foundation for Public Interest Journalism in Melbourne, Australia, intends to present a new model for funding news content. Margaret Simons, chair of the foundation, says they are considering three or four models which are partially based on the US organisation, Spot.us. She says the foundation would be an experiment in “community-driven commissioning”. Spot.us uses a system of “crowd funding”. A pitch for a story is placed on their website, and then members of the public can donate money to fund a registered freelance journalist to write the story. Publishers can also donate money to story pitches, and if they fund 50 per cent of a story pitch they gain first-publishing rights on the story. If they pay for all of it, they gain exclusive rights to the story. Stories are released under Creative Commons licensing if a media company does not buy publishing rights. The Creative Commons system allows users to release content from certain aspects of copyright, while maintaining others. In the case of Spot.us, this allows content to be freely used by news organisations, so long as the work is attributed to the original author. Meanwhile, Pacific Scoop, launched in August this year, is a New Zealand-based non-profit news publisher that formed from a partnership between Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre and Scoop, an independent New Zealand news site. They also publish under creative commons, and have associations with traditional news outlets in the pacific region

http://www.panpa.org.au/Public/Template5/ThreadView.aspx?tid=26210

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