Planet Money and Kickstarter: Is web-based crowdfunding the future of public media?

Planet Money T Shirt NPRWhen the NPR show Planet Money wanted to put together a project about the economic life-cycle of a T-shirt, Kickstarter seemed like the natural approach — and it showed how much crowdfunding has in common with public media.

When the reporting team at Planet Money — a joint venture between PRI’s This American Life and National Public Radio — decided to do a series tracing the creation of a T-shirt all the way from the cotton fields to the department store, producer Alex Blumberg says that Kickstarter seemed like a natural way to engage listeners in the project. In a sense, he told me in an interview, the web-based crowdfunding platform is really just a more modern way of doing what public radio has always done, which is to allow fans to support journalism they care about.

If launching the project via Kickstarter was a gamble — and one that apparently took a certain amount of convincing before Planet Money’s corporate masters would sign off on it, according to Blumberg — it certainly seems to have paid off: the campaign hit its goal in a single day, and has since raised about $300,000 or six times as much as it was originally looking for (the audio of my interview with Blumberg is on SoundCloud and also embedded below).

Read more at Paid Content


Have a crowdfunding offering you'd like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!

Sponsored Links by DQ Promote

Send this to a friend