Spot.us: Community Funded Citizen Journalism

by Devanshu Mehta

Via Dan Gilmor, we hear about the launch of the nonprofit Spot.us, funded by the Knight Foundation. It is a novel idea-

Through Spot.Us the public can commission journalists to do investigations on important and perhaps overlooked stories. […] It’s a marketplace where independent reporters, community members and news organizations can come together and collaborate.

This has real potential. Think about a local government problem that needs investigating- you can get your neighbors together to fund a citizen to work on it. Think about the (many) issues that traditional media chooses to ignore- either due to a perceived lack of audience, corporate interests or political implications. You can fund the stories you believe should be covered, and so can traditional news organizations.

As founder David Cohn notes, “The process of journalism should be participatory – and perhaps one way it can be made participatory is if the public has the opportunity to commission the journalism they want to see.” Go make a pitch or fund a story today.

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