Collaborative Journalism + Group Buying = Future of News?
Should collaborative journalism platforms like GroundReport learn from group buying sites like Groupon?
That's Paramendra Bhagat's thesis in his recent blog post, "GroundReport Needs to Get GroupOnized to Take Off." Bhagat argues for paid assignments chosen and funded by a critical mass that only pays if 100 people commit. The model is shades of Kickstarter and Spot.us, both of which use social pressure and "tipping point" psychology to encourage donations for independent projects and journalism investigations.
One distinction in Bhagat's approach is that each supporter commits just $1, which lowers the barrier to participation significantly. Bhagat details his approach for GroundReport:
It is important to get the business model right. I think the solution lies in GroupOnizing GroundReport. Anyone gets to suggest story ideas. But unless at least 100 people paying $1 each go for it, the story remains just an idea. Once the threshold is reached, the story idea enters the marketplace with a deadline. The 100 people who paid get to vote on which the best story is. GroundReport splits the money 50-50. But all submitted stories stay on site and listed on the writer's profile page where they still get revenue share based on page hits.
GroundReport retains the right to syndicate the stories to any and all media organizations. For pay of course. And there is further revenue share with the writers, producers of content.
Audio, video, text, all are fair game.
I think this could take off fast just like GroupOn. Mindfood is easier to manage than all those offline deals. You demand creation for a dollar, and you feast upon all that gets created.
The economics of supporting journalism continues to evade even the most successful digital outlets. The Huffington Post, Daily Beast, and Politico, three of the biggest digital darlings on the web, all continue to struggle with their models despite wide audiences. Huffington Post doesn't pay most contributors; Daily Beast loses millions every year; and Politico garners half its revenues from its print publication.
At GroundReport we believe that innovating from the ground up, across all aspects of the journalism ecosystem -- content production and distribution, vetting and business models -- is the only way to develop a model that functions under the new market conditions. We pledge to continue to experiment and evolve - while maintaining our commitment to GroundReport's editorial mission and values.
Tags: News , Journalism , Groupon , Groundreport
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