Scoop is excited to announce the launch of our first Open News Project - a crowdsourced and crowdfunded open licensed newsroom aimed at ‘Opening the Election’ in 2017. That's right - we are not only asking our crowd for money but for help to co-create this ambitious participatory election year journalism project. Many news organisations claim to be doing ‘public interest’ journalism, however we want to ensure we practice it by giving the public a chance to voice their interests.
The open news project is Scoop’s answer to the problem of the failure of election and political coverage to lead to better outcomes for our society and for all New Zealanders. We have seen in the recent USA elections and the Brexit vote, the dangers of clickbait, fake news and media manipulation to the proper functioning of a democracy. We believe this broken media environment is the result of a media unduly focused on identity politics, superficial debates, so-called political experts or on the ins and outs of the political game.
Scoop’s approach is instead to address the need for more involvement of diverse voices and perspectives in real two-way debate around the complex issues facing our society. So we are changing our approach to news creation by letting you tell us what really matters to you and what you think should be done about it. We believe this has potential to achieve real breakthroughs in the quality of discussion around innovative policy solutions that have appeal across party lines.
We are planning to use open citizen engagement tools and real life events in order to bring our readers closer into the process of shaping our news agenda and influencing the real political debate. You will be able to have your say on what matters to you as part of this process as we attempt to identify and highlight innovative policy solutions with agreement from across the political spectrum that may not otherwise be focused on by the media. We will use this crowd research as a starting point for further investigation and analysis by leading freelancers who will report back with quality multimedia content. This could take the form of data visualisation, explainers or regular old fashioned investigative journalism.
Watch this video to find
out more about how we will open the election.
This is Scoop’s seventh national election campaign so we already have a tested formula and have used innovative tools such as the Election Reactor project in the past. We want to ensure we can continue this core political coverage including that by our existing reporters. However we also want to add exciting new features such as our new HiveMind tool and to fund leading freelance journalists to produce high quality multimedia content.
The money raised by this campaign will ensure we can achieve these ambitious goals as well as strengthening Scoop’s overall position. It will help us cover costs of our tech lead Wiremu Demchick implementing these tools and upgrading our publishing system. This will mean Scoop can continue as a leading independent force over the coming years post-election also in an increasingly competitive journalism environment. Scoop is now a non-profit social enterprise owned by the Scoop Foundation so any proceeds from this project or future activities will simply go to further supporting independent journalism such as the recent investigative series on Post Natal Depression or the upcoming investigative series on Earthquakes by two leading journalists.
We currently rely heavily on the support of our crowd in order to achieve these goals until we can can complete our transition to a fully commercially funding licensing system. That point is not too far off as we now have over 100 license holders but this project will also help move us to that point as it will enable us to strengthen our relevance and the publishing tools we offer to clients.
We are also aiming in this campaign to attract organisational sponsors to match the donations pledged by ordinary readers. These sponsors will receive high visibility on the campaign content which will expose them to our 500’000+ monthly readers. We see this as an interim measure supplementing our license based approach while preserving our editorial independence and lack of reliance on unstable advertising revenue.
We want to create a real groundswell of support to ensure we meet our ambitious target here so we can really provide top quality coverage of the issues this election year. If you want to help us, please join us as an open election ambassador and help us to spread the word about this campaign and distribute the content created.
We Thank you in advance for your support of this project.
Joe and the Scoop Publishing Team.