What comprises the news we read today? Is what we read the results of relentless hours of uncovering factual, hard news or just puff piece editorials meant to generate more sales?
Today’s ad-based publications base themselves off a model where reporters are made to churn out articles that lack substance. They are generally shallow and meant only to generate page views and engage an audience. The informal term used here is ‘clickbait‘ articles.
Shareholders and top businessmen control what is printed, based on the value of returns, therefore, comprising on the true spirit of the fourth estate of democracy.
A way to curtail this mismanagement is to pass on the ‘voting rights’ onto the public. This will allow readers to buy the right to “vote” on whether a newsroom represents fair, quality journalism or not. The only way newsrooms can be challenged, is if a majority of involved readers agree.
“The single most significant aspect of why we are applying blockchain and the cryptoeconomic model to what we are trying to do is because we think it has the potential trying to flip the system on its head and create an environment in which journalists can truly be beholden to their readers above all else, not to a company with shareholders and … a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits,” co-founder Matt Coolidge said.
Civil Media is a startup that is determined to change the way journalism operates. The way they are doing this is by implementing blockchain technology and cryptoeconomics to secure incentive distribution.
13 newsrooms have reportedly signed up with them which includes Documented and the Colorado Sun, a local investigative newsroom staffed by former Denver Post reporters.
Apart from this, an ICO was held which was meant for people to participate in the platform and become an active member.
A ‘civil newsroom‘ will overturn or accommodate itself with the existing advertising-based revenue models. “We recognize the significant role that advertising can play in a newsroom’s revenue model. We’re not looking to create an additional hurdle by banning ads outright. Newsrooms will, however, need to be transparent about advertisers, and recognize that their ability to publish on Civil can be challenged if there’s ever a credible case that advertisers are influencing their editorial process,” the Civil team wrote in an email.
The startup hopes to transfer the accountability of what is published and created from the few involved in generating profits and transferring this to a large number of token holders interested in journalism.
“If you are committing a gross violation of these things, you have an incentivized audience ready to challenge a newsroom,” Coolidge.
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