Kickstarter: A petri dish for new journalism?

Snapped on twitter presenting at Cardiff Town Hall, September 2015. 

Snapped on twitter presenting at Cardiff Town Hall, September 2015. 

With the advertising model for journalism broken and in a heap on the floor, many journalists are connecting directly with audiences to try and fund their creative works. But what kind of works are they producing? And what ethical, moral and ritualistic barriers are being challenged when journalists appeal directly to their audience to help them bring home the bacon? 

This paper explores these questions with an investigation of the 'journalism' that is produced as a result of one new income stream: crowdfunding. Through development of a codebook and subsequent content analysis, the project maps and then analyses characteristics common to successfully funded journalism projects on global crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

In developing the research it became clear that Kickstarter raised more questions than just those relating to the impact of new funding streams on news media: Are journalists even the people behind 'journalism' projects on Kickstarter and, when it is up to the project administrator to define what Kickstarter category to place their funding bid in, can we even define these projects as being journalistic? 

The results of the working paper are surprising and indicate that although the quest for revenue continues to challenge journalism as a field, some key characteristics of the profession still remain strong, while other new characteristics could be becoming the norm. 

Silveira, S. & Spyksma, H. (2015). Factors for the successful financing of journalistic projects on crowdfunding platforms: A case study of Kickstarter. Paper presented at Future of Journalism conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff. 

Abstract: Future of Journalism conference (2015) book of abstracts.

Featured for a magazine article here (in Portuguese):