25 July 2016

Opinion: Crowdfunding is the best, newest frontier for journalism for the people

There comes a point in journalism where being part of a news organisation isn't enough to get your voice heard. If the story doesn't suit the audience, the story doesn't get told. That's why the new phenomenon that is crowdfunded journalism is such a groundbreaking move for writers around the world. The recently-published story on Eric Holthaus, the meteorologist and journalist who is sourcing funding for his climate change stories, is an example of this.

The reason Eric turned to Pantheon is because he felt that climate change wasn't being covered enough by the media. It's a sad truth that is often ignored. For something that is a significant threat to the planet, news outlets ignore it, or resign it to the science section, because it's not drawing in their readers. In the business of news, this is fair. Content should be driven by readers, who in turn drive traffic and revenue. But this doesn't mean that these stories shouldn't be told.

What crowdfunded journalism does is give a voice, and an all-important financial source, to those who can talk about the things that matter – the big social issues that news can't cover because it's limited by business. It allows small people to make a big impact and bring these stories out in the open. It ensures that the things we should be talking about – even if it's only a few of us – remain visible and accessible to all, should we want to read it.

Some stories are too important to be left behind.

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