Our community is not being served adequately by the level of investigative reporting provided by our two local newspapers: The Somerville Journal and The Somerville News. There is a plethora of local blogs offering opinions and media filtering, but there remains a poverty of the kind of quality in-depth journalism that can only be obtained with funding. The recent contraction of local reporting by the Boston Globe will further diminish coverage of local issues.
There is much hand-wringing these days about the collapse of traditional news institutions that relied too heavily on fragile advertising business models. We at Somerville Voices are thinking about trying to pay for investigative journalism through a model called “crowd-funding”, in which readers pledge support towards the total cost of reporting on a story. No money is collected unless the total cost is covered by pledges and no one can give more than a small fraction of the whole amount. This model was tried successfully out in the SF Bay area by David Cohn at a site called Spot.Us.
Does the crowd-funding model sound viable for Somerville?
What stories would you like to see investigated?
Would you be willing to contribute financially for your news?
Please share your thoughts!
- we’ve been linked from Universal Hub under How much would you pay for investigative reporting in Somerville?
- we’ve also been linked from Kat Powers’ blog on the Somerville Journal under Paying for Somerville news