January 26, 2009

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January Carnival of Journalism - How to support journalism online financially This months Carnival of Journalism is hosted by Paul Bradshaw. He writes: "Given the LA Times hitting a point where online ads support editorial (if not the roof over their heads) I’d like to set the theme as ‘How to support journalism online financially’ – that may be ads or subs (the NY Times iTunes model is another recent angle), the increasing role of foundations and donations (Spot.us), or more innovative web-native models" Well, lets get my obvious bias out of the way. As the founder of Spot.Us - I think the idea of "community funded reporting" has a lot of merit and I'll go into more detail why in this post. I do want to preface it by saying: it is not the only model out there. This is not the "key" to journalism's financial woes - but I have yet to be discouraged and convinced to turn around and give up. The gift economy in America is $300 billion of which 75 percent ($225 billion) comes from individual donors. So while Spot.Us had a great first month raising almost $5,000 - I don't believe we've even scratched the surface. More importantly, Spot.Us is one representation of an idea -- "community funded reporting" -- which should be MUCH bigger than our small nonprofit. There are other examples of it already in ReelChanges.org and Representative Journalism* but there are COUNTLESS individual examples of 'community funded reporting' from Talking Points Memo and Ana Marie Cox all the way down to when...

David Cohn

I blog at: http://www.digidave.org I work at: http://spot.us

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