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Crowdfunded journalism is journalism that is financially sourced by the collection of donations from the general public. Crowdfunding is typically related to crowdsourcing because there is dependence from a larger group or crowd. The audience can judge and support the works of journalists who decide to use crowdfunding as a financial platform, by donating a sum of money. In the rapidly changing field of media, journalist have faced challenges with numerous media closures and budget cuts because of media concentration and ownership and a technological shift towards news content from the Internet. The decrease of journalism and the lack of available jobs, crowdfunding has become a way in which journalists can financially stabilize their careers independent from corporate media. Crowdfunded journalism can be found on popular crowdfunding websites such as gofundme, kick-starter and Awesome Journalism.
Crowdfunded journalism has given journalists opportunities to create content outside of mainstream media. There is a level of independence and freedom to choose specific topics and coverage of events that are not prevalent in mass media.
The increase of crowdfunded journalism has altered the way audiences participate and interact with media. Audiences have a more active role because they can decide what news survives and what gets filtered. There is an increase of opportunities for journalists who have ideas and want to share their passions with the community. A collective amount of intelligence and information is shared through participation. Crowdfunded journalism gives equal opportunity for the general public to participate with their journalistic interests, there are no specific requirements that interested journalists need to use crowdfunding. Crowdfunded journalist gives a rise to democracy by helping to inform the public in acts of citizenship.
Issues and controversies
Crowdfunded journalism has given more power and control to the audience which can raise concerns for the journalists because there is a second party that dictates the work that is created and presented. There can be challenges with meeting the expectations of the general public and "conflicts of interest". There are also challenges with maintaining the work of journalists who decide to crowd fund as a means of finance because there is not security and benefits like working in traditional media corporation. There are also challenges with a steady amount of income that is given because of the high level of competition.
In order to prevent too much power given to the audiences and separating the line between journalist and funder, journalists will typically create a cap or threshold in regards to the donation amount. On the Spot.us journalist page a 20% donation limit is installed. Journalists will also try to keep their funders anonymous in order to keep their work and the audiences separate