Crowdfunding has skyrocketed in the past couple of years as entrepreneurs bypass traditional keepers of the purse and instead appeal to individual donors to help get their projects off the ground — and journalists have taken notice. Dogged by a lack of jobs and slumping wages, writers, producers, photographers and other content creators have joined the fray. As a result, crowdfunding has launched the careers of many independent journalists and helped keep others afloat, especially freelancers and news non-profits.
At the center of this movement has been Spot.us, the brainchild of journalism innovator David Cohn, which provided more than $120,000 in funding for news reporting last year. But that momentum dwindled since its acquisition by the Public Insight Network, a project of media giant, American Public Media.
(Note: Cohn also contributes regularly to MediaShift’s sister site, Idea Lab.)
With APM at the helm, Spot.us has doled out less than $7,000 in funding so far this year, and the rate of projects achieving successful funding has dipped from 98 percent to 37 percent.