It's like a potluck where everyone adds a little and they all come away with a lot.
Now it seems that crowdfunding may well be the solution for the ailing newspaper industry. According to Mashable, a recent New York Times story was the first piece of completely crowdfunded reporting from Spot.Us, a community-funded journalism site, to be printed in what can be considered the most important news publications in the world. The concept is quite novel, actually. As newspapers become more picky about what goes into their thinning pages, they are unwilling to pay the upfront costs for their staffers to travel and research news stories that, in the end, might not make it. With this new model, journalists receive funding by the public for writing stories that the public want to know about. Newspapers and other media then get to purchase those stories, knowing that they are on topics that people want to read. The journalist wins, the newspaper wins and most importantly, the global community wins.
Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing in general are proof that social media is more than a fad but a viable business model based not on capitalist principles but on the odd marriage of social ideals and mob rule. In the case of newspapers and journalists, it’s a win/win/win situation for the industry. As a public relations professional, however, the question I need to ask is, where does PR fit in?