Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What if Readers Fund an Open Journalism?

From a blog by In a previous post I considered certain skeptical objections to micropatronage as a funding model for journalism, objections based on the impression that such a system would not see widespread use. But in a recent meeting with executives at a major US daily, I saw another kind of reaction, based on the apprehension that a per-article system of micropatronage might prove popular. These executives caught a glimpse of a new funding stream -- something they badly need. But they also glimpsed a host of uncertainties and risks concerning the paper's proper role in its community. They saw that micropatronage and crowdfunding systems raise the prospect of a shift in the core standards of journalism. Such systems raise traditional concerns about undue influence exercised by sources of funding, along with traditional concerns about an unhealthy reliance on popular judgment. But the combination of these perennial concerns in today's media context yields new perspectives on old themes. The risks and uncertainties that result are a necessary part of an experimental attitude toward the future of journalism.
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