News is becoming increasingly free, with more turning to free news websites like the New York Times. Just last week, Time published a piece on How to Save Your Newspaper by its former managing editor Walter Isaacson. In it, Isaacson argues that charging for journalism is the way for the industry to regain its foothold.
An example is Tom Poyk of the Iraq Hack, who has accomplished what few had done before. Wanting to go to Iraq to do reporting and yet not having the money to do so, he appealed — and got — readers to pay for his foreign reporting stint.
Now, a new non-profit project called Spot.Us has emerged in the United States to enable the public to fund stories that they are interested in. Acting as a portal, it enables visitors to browse through story pitches, and donate to that particular story if they’re interested. Among stories that have been successfully funded and completed are: From Plate to Plant: What Happens When You Flush the Toilet? and How Does the Economic Downturn Affect Small San Francisco Businesses?
Portals like Spot.US which brings together reporters and readers with common interests are then perhaps the way to the future of journalism. Though they are now mainly focused on community reporting, as this practice becomes established, sites like Iraq Hack in which readers fund international reporting might become the norm.
What do you think?