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The future of journalism (Blue font applied liberally)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Spot.us launches


    I heard a radio show out of KUOW in Seattle where the David Cohn, the founder, hyped the product.

    One example was school lunch stories where parents in a neigborhood would chip in $10 apiece for a story on the local cafeteria. Even if it was good news, he said that parents still would pay $10 each for that piece of mind.

    My take is that people do not want to pay for investigative journalism. I wouldn't. I read a newspaper for the whole package and am not concerned about niche investigative stories.
    How long until it goes under when it has to rely on small donors instead of sugardaddy foundation?
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

  3. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    My take is slightly different. I think there are enough people who would want investigative journalism to fund such stories, but only at the national level. So the only stories that would consistently find enough financial support would be the big, national stories, which runs counter to what spot.us claims to want to do -- fill in the local niche left by cutbacks at the local papers. So if spot.us lasts a while, it'll likely become something where more and more of the stories pitched on there are national stories or stories about the biggest metros b/c those would be the ones that get enough funding, and you end up basically w/ another national news source, to add to the glut you already have with the big papers and the wires and the prominent blogs, and little in the way of local investigative reporting.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Here's $50. Do a story on junior's T-ball team. The kids try really hard.

    The sound you hear is all of us with journalism degrees putting shotguns in our mouths.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Sure, there a enough kooks with a PayPal account who want an expose on the 9/11 coverup that involves the Queen, the Vatican, the Gettys, the Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tits up.

    But would a writer who is funded using Spot.us have the sources to get to the root of an investigative story. It's easy to say you want to investigate something, but you need some type of access, whether it comes from a tip, documents, or a whistle-blower.
  6. CM Punk

    CM Punk Guest

    Sounds good to me, coach.
  7. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    How writers are funded has nothing to do with whether they have sources. There are freelancers who have better sources than people who are hired by newspapers. And it's not like you can't build connections with new sources. I'm sure every reporter has had to do that at some point for a story. This would be no different. Sure, there might be people who just throw up pitches on spot.us without having the capabilities to pull them off. But if you can't deliver the promised goods, you are less likely to receive funding support for your pitches in the future. So if writers want to keep getting work through that system, they would need to deliver on their promises.
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's easier to build sources when you don't have to worry about pitching stories to an Internet audience for food money.
  9. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    Agree to disagree then. Even when you work fulltime at a newspaper, you don't spend all your time building sources. And just because you're a freelancer, you don't spend all your time begging for money. I just think it's silly to assume that a story written by a journalist working full-time at a newspaper would be superior to a story by a freelancer just because the former works full-time at a newspaper. Besides, if somebody knows enough about a potential story idea to pitch it for funding, there's a good chance they already have some background info and sources to start from, not to mention that they might have more time to focus on this one story, which beats a full-time newspaper reporter who just has a story dumped into his lap and has to juggle it with all the other daily stuff he's working on.
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