A new ‘community based reporting’ startup launched earlier this month, Spot.Us.
I love the concept. Microfunding reporting, independent of a news organization. Readers, meet the reporter. If enough money is raised to cover the costs of the story, the reporter is put to work. I gave $5 to a proposed story on MUNI express buses in SF, and why there were not more of them. I just got this email:
Score for for community funded reporting!!
Together we’ve raised $250 from 14 people who gave an average of $17 each!
I couldn’t be more giddy. But now comes the hard part: Tom Prete, our reporter, will represent us – asking the questions and digging up the answers.
Next we will assign a fact-check editor to the story. Once the reporting is done – we will let you know.
In the meantime: If you know any news organizations that might be interested in this reporting – you should let them know. If they want first publishing rights that is possible: But they’ll have to refund all the donations. At just $250 – and with a built in audience – I’d argue that was a deal.
Best thing of all? It is a nonprofit, so your funding of a story is tax deductable.
Way to go Dave Cohn and team.