This last decade and a half has seen the rise of crowdfunding on the Internet. Popular websites such as Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com brought us the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip and the Pebble Smart Watch, and other successful projects. In short, crowdfunding gives a chance for would-be entrepreneurs with little access to the traditional retail channels a voice to be heard.
Of course, crowdfunding is not just for supporting the latest cool gadgets. There are tons of photo and art projects that land on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites. The one that really caught my eye, however, is the Support In-Depth Storytelling project on Emphas.is.
To backtrack a bit, Emphas.is was created in 2011 to crowdfund original, in-depth journalist stories that has been diminishing rapidly in recent years.
In a survey done by Emphas.is in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, 78.4% said original stories don’t get published anymore, and most media copy what they find in other media. As a consequence a tide of journalists with important stories to tell, are stranded without a voice.
This project is unique because for one, it is a project started by the Emphas.is Team themselves. The goal of the project is to help Emphas.is sustain and grow its website in order to help journalists and photojournalists around the world cover the in-depth stories that may not be “commercially viable” for the network cable news organizations, but are important nonetheless because they in turn provide a voice for people around the world whose stories need to be told, but their government and the popular media have largely ignored.
Since 2011, over 6,000 backers of Emphas.is have successfully funded over 50 in-depth stories around the world covering issues such as the lack of mental health care in war-torn regions of Africa and so on.
Without this project, Emphas.is may not be able to keep its operations going, which is why they need your help. So if you have some time and extra change, take a look at what they are doing and support their cause.
On the Emphas.is Project
In-depth journalism helps us make sense of the world. Yet, less and less of it is produced everyday.
The effects of a decade of newsroom cutbacks are real – and the public is taking notice. According to the 2013 Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, one in three adults in the US have abandoned their preferred media outlet “because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting.”
In a survey done by emphas.is in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, 78.4% said original stories don’t get published anymore, and most media copy what they find in other media. As a consequence a tide of journalists with important stories to tell, are stranded without a voice.
Yet, most of the innovation in journalism today concentrates on aggregating content that is getting flatter and flatter, instead of finding new ways to sustain in-depth reporting. “Return of investment” has become the single most important aspect for most investors.
But this is where you come in: Since Emphas.is was launched in 2011, 6,000 people like you used the opportunity to send a journalist of their choice back in the field to cover the issues they care about. Together they raised more than $500,000 and helped produce more than 50 in-depth stories by 60 journalists in more than 60 countries.
You are disrupting a century old media model that put 0.01% of the people in control of what 99.9% would see in the news. Now it is you who sets the agenda.
But our model is still fragile.
In order to become sustainable and grow our coverage from 60 to 600 stories that need to get attention, we need your help. By making a pledge and showing your support of emphas.is today you help us telling stories that would otherwise go untold.
Give us the proof that we are relevant and that what we do matters!
The Emphas.is Team