It had to happen. With few jobs available and fewer projected for the future, what's a good journalist to do? Grow your own.
This story slipped past me when it first came out but came to my attention via Nova Spivack. Christopher Zara's piece, "The Year of Kickstarter Journalism: Crowdfunding Is Doing What the News Industry Can't," published back in January in International Business Times, describes how dedicated and enterprising journalists can be.
As the publishing industry struggles to figure out a sustainable business model in the digital age, crowdfunded journalism projects have been taking off in droves on Kickstarter, where more and more would-be and wannabe publishers are launching successful campaigns to get their projects off the ground. Whether these projects will thrive or fizzle remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Crowdfunding’s potential to launch new publishing startups is something journalists can no longer ignore.
And they’re not. Last year, Kickstarter-funded journalists reported from dozens of countries on six continents, according to the website. These aren’t just fly-by-nighters either. Many veteran journalists who used to have paying jobs at old media are using the site to fund projects, often because they don’t have any other choice. In June of last year, when most of the editorial staff of Good magazine was laid off, staffers didn’t go scrambling on Mediabistro to start scanning the job postings. Instead, they got together and launched a campaign to fund their own publication -- called Tomorrow magazine.