Blockchain-based Civil Media has helped Pulitzer Prize-winning editors in Colorado create their own publication that is not dependent on profit-pushing investors.
Journalism has evolved so much during the ages. From handwritten notices to newspapers to online publications, there’s no denying that this industry continues to follow and adapt to ongoing trends in technology.
However, media in our digital age is rife with advertisements, clickbait, and aggressive product-based marketing. Annoying stories of how you can make a million dollars in just three steps (number two will blow your mind!) need to be written by someone. While this journalist may want to report on something relevant and meaningful, they still have bills to pay.
According to CBS News, Civil Media is hoping to bring integrity back into the industry. The CEO of the blockchain-based platform, Mathew Iles, explained one of the issues facing the sector today:
We’ve had 20 years or more of digital media being run primarily by companies like Google and Facebook that just do not care about journalism and have business models that are predicated on harvesting user data and serving you ads and it’s harming journalism in a serious way.
Civil aims to use its native currency, the CVL token, to allow interested parties to purchase a stake in an independent news agency. It can then be used to vote on whether or not said agency is doing its due diligence when reporting and adhering to predetermined guidelines.
Civil Helps the Colorado Sun to Shine
The company has also funded a range of online publications all around the world, one of them being the Colorado Sun. Three editors for the Denver Post left their jobs amid mounting bottom line pressure from the publication’s owners. Thanks to a fund injection from Civil, they now produce the Colorado Sun where the team is most likely showing off their Pulitzer Prize-winning prowess.
One of the editors, Larry Ryckman, said:
So we began those conversations and I can tell you it was exciting to be dreaming of building something new rather than to be collaborating in the destruction of a proud newspaper.
The editors know first-hand that life happens and bills need to be paid, which is why they pay their journalists market-related salaries. Ryckman explained:
You know we’re all passionate about journalism but we all have lives and mortgages and rent to pay and kids in college and all of those kinds of things. And we’re very fortunate in that the Colorado Sun has been able to provide all of us with salaries that are comparable to what we were making at the Denver Post or in some cases even more than we earned at the Denver Post.
However, the initial funding received will not last forever. This is why their three-week-old publication is depending on its quality reporting to entice average citizens and other investors to contribute. Ryckman concluded:
For now we really are using more of a National Public Radio or Public Television kind of model which is to say to a company we’re not going to help you sell mattresses or the Fourth of July or Washington’s day or something like that. But if you believe in our mission and you believe in our company then we would be happy to have your support.
Blockchain in the Newsroom
Civil’s publications will integrate blockchain technology in their newsrooms’ archiving process. Iles touched on the significance of this:
The blockchain’s immutable nature makes it next to impossible for anyone including governments, corporations, billionaires, to be able to essentially hack the blockchain and change some fact or record or information in the past….Sometimes journalism is referred to as the first draft of history. By using something like blockchain, we can imprint the first draft of history into a permanent and immutable archive.
Live Bitcoin News recently reported that the platform has teamed up with a major news agency, the Associated Press (AP).
Do you think that platforms like Civil can positively impact journalism and news reporting? Let us know in the comments below!
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