UK-based crowdfunding website Newspryng officially launched its platform last week. The new site offers freelance writers a chance to publish their new work, while getting paid for it.
Explaining the platform’s main focus, the team of Newspryng stated it “experiments with a new model for journalism that combines open journalism with crowdfunding. Much has been made of the Internet killing quality journalism as content is given away for free and dwindling ad revenues cause mass lay-offs at traditional news outlets.”
They continued, “However, the Internet should not be seen as the enemy of journalism and instead should be embraced for its ability to empower people who previously struggled to be heard. The role social networks played in the Arab Spring is symptomatic of how the world has been empowered by the Internet. The platform has no political bias and invites contributors to tell their stories as they see them.”
During a recent interview with Journalism.co.uk, Newspryng’s editorial lead Matthew Chapman stated, “I wanted to explore whether we could replicate this model with a platform which anyone could contribute to. Where anyone with a great story can come and get published and raise money directly from the audience.”
In regard to the cost to read the stories, the team noted, “The audience is not required to pay for the content, but if you have enjoyed it or been informed by it please make a voluntary donation to the journalist.”
During a recent interview with Journalism.co.uk, Newspryng’s editorial lead Matthew Chapman shared, “I wanted to explore whether we could replicate this model with a platform which anyone could contribute to. Where anyone with a great story can come and get published and raise money directly from the audience.
He then added, “As it stands, it is an untested model, but I think there are a lot of people in the UK who would be willing to donate towards quality journalism. Traditional news organizations are having to cut back because their revenues are dipping, and journalists are a lot more stretched at traditional organizations so naturally the quality is dipping. I think if you can provide this really attractive proposition that offers quality journalism and rewards the journalist for their great stories, I think there could be a model for it.”
Chapman also revealed that he was inspired by New Zealand journalist Keith Ng, who received ten times the freelance rate by self-publishing a story and asking for contributions from readers.