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Crowdfunding the Future

Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society


Edited By Lucy Bennett, Bertha Chin and Bethan Jones

The concept of crowdfunding, where grassroots creative projects are funded by the masses through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has been steadily gaining attention over the last few years. Crowdfunding the Future undertakes a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to the examination of the new, and growing, phenomenon of crowdfunding and its encompassment of digital society and media industries. The book offers a wide range of perspectives and empirical research, providing analyses of crowdfunded projects, the interaction between producers and audiences, and the role that websites such as Kickstarter play in discussions around fan agency and exploitation, as well as the ethics of crowdfunding. With a series of chapters covering a global range of disciplines and topics, this volume offers a comprehensive overview on crowdfunding, examining and unraveling the international debates around this increasingly popular practice. The book is suitable for courses covering media studies, fandom, digital media, sociology, film production, anthropology, audience, and cultural studies.
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6. Crowdfunding and Pluralisation: Comparison Between the Coverage of the Participatory Website Spot.Us and the American Press


6.   Crowdfunding and Pluralisation: Comparison Between the Coverage of the Participatory Website Spot.Us and the American Press



Spot.Us is one of the best-known crowdfunding projects in journalism. With an innovative and intriguing way of proposing and funding journalistic stories, it materialised a new form of making journalism possible, especially in harsh times for the profession, when we consider the challenges imposed by new media and the financial crisis on newspapers and other media outlets.

We explored the content of news pitches and published stories on Spot.Us, comparing their themes with the average frequency of themes in the usual coverage of daily and weekly American press, using data both from the study of Lynch and Peer (2002) and from the State of the News Media report (2008). This analysis was run in order to check for differences between the subjects favoured by traditional newsrooms and those privileged by contributors of the participatory web news site. The hypothesis is that microfinance can be a way to pluralise the news, as proposed by Gans (2003).

As we are going to see more closely, the research shows that the crowdfunding of news stories, as performed by Spot.Us, can be a viable alternative for publishing more different points of view, as well as subjects and themes. From the perspective of a reader, it would not make sense to help fund journalistic stories, had they been the...

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