As we have done in the past, we’ll continue to talk about the subject of funded journalism. But although there are many forms of alternative financing, one can’t deny that crowdfunding will become the future of journalism.

This isn’t a baseless statement, countless of experts affirm it. Today we’ll analyze some of them and their opinions.

Crowdfunding: Future of journalism

So the thing is, as strange as it may sound, there has always been a struggle to finance journalistic work. So that you can understand it better, let’s look at the traditional financing methods of newspapers. The main one, since centuries, is to produce printed newspapers and then sell as many as possible to obtain sufficient remuneration.

The other way is through advertising. However, around the world, this hasn’t been enough for mass media and printed newspapers to be be maintained. This has led many of them to resort to this alternative form of financing. Crowdfunding. But let’s see what the experts say.

The digital era and journalism

Magda Abu-Fadil, director of Media Unlimited, wrote a recent article where she talks about this journalism struggle. Stating that “the very essence of journalism is going through a metamorphosis that causes its traditional producers sleepless nights and little awareness of the damage they suffer.”

During her analysis, Abu-Fadil made reference to a book that was published on the matter. Whose title is Funding Journalism in the Digital Age: Business Models, Strategies, Issues and Trends, written by Stephen Quinn and Jeff Kaye. From which she extracted some quotes that talk about how journalism has been funded over time.

Stephen Quinn Jeff Kaye
Cover of the book Funding Journalism in the Digital Age: Business Models, Strategies, Issues and Trends, written by Jeff Kaye and Stephen. Source: Huffington Post

One of them establishes that during the arrival of the digital era in the 90’s, journalism found itself in a predicament. This meant that many newspapers in the world had to change their business models in order to adapt to changes and generate income.

However, Abu-Fadil says that in 2003, many of them discovered that the business model through advertising didn’t provide enough income. But that was when the power of the Internet in the business world came to light. Within a new possibility: microfinance.

What eventually came to be also known as crowdfunding.

New business models

Another expert who also refers to crowdfunding as “salvation” of journalism, is Stephan Russ-Mohl. Director of the European Journalism Observatory and professor of journalism and media management. Who curiously also cited the book written by Stephen Quinn and Jeff Kaye.

As a main observation, he pointed out that the business models of traditional newspapers were no longer functional. It is there where he talks about the model that some media began to apply, by creating partnerships or partnerships with giants such as Google and Yahoo. Which basically consists of the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO Journalism
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique that improves the visibility of websites in Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.

He also talks about the presentation of microfinance as a possibility of financing. But one more important point, is that he expressed that there are many other business models for journalism. That not only had come from the United States, but also other countries such as Spain, Italy and Scandinavia.

According to him, some of these include the creation and sale of CDs, books and videos of purely audiovisual journalistic material. Which tries as much as possible to satisfy the needs of an information-hungry audience but also some entertainment.

How does this apply today?

In addition to advertising, many news agencies, mass media and newspapers seek ways of financing adapted to their needs. While they continue to maintain themselves through advertising, which is still feasible but not sufficiently profitable.

As expressed by Abu-Fadil and Russ-Mohl, microfinance or crowdfunding has been one of the most sought-after options. And in a more Latin American context, this is demonstrated by Venezuelan journalist Damaso Jimenez. Founder of BienDateao, a digital newspaper from which he made a crowdfunding campaign to cover maintenance costs.

Other notorious cases in other parts of the world are the Australian newspaper Crinkling News, the English news magazine The Bristol Cable and even The New York Times. Which demonstrate how today’s journalism has been mounted in the wave of crowdfunding. In our blog, you can find several entries focused on this topic. Which is worth reading and researching in depth.

If you liked this post, we invite you to share it on your social networks. Until next time!

Related: Crowdfunding & Cryptocurrencies: The Future Of Private Banking?

This is how the journalism of the modern era evolves!