Crowdfunding a small but growing boost to journalism: Report

'Spotlight': Featurette - State Of Journalism
'Spotlight': Featurette - State Of Journalism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Crowdfunding over the Internet is a small but growing boost to journalism, with funds raised soaring to $1.7 million in the first nine months of 2015, a report by the Pew Research Center said on Wednesday.

That compared with $49,256 raised through Kickstarter from April 2009, when the fundraising website got its start, to the end of that year.

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Pew's analysis of data from Kickstarter shows that journalism is increasingly part of an online process that has put money into everything from real estate to spacecraft and a bailout fund for Greece.

The journalism projects included an oral history of firefighters on wild lands, reporting from Tanzania on the Kihansi spray toad, and a book about the first Western-style theme park in the United States.

%shareLinks-quote="In today's evolving digital era, the growth we're seeing represents a new, niche segment of nontraditional journalism driven in large part by public interest and motivation." type="quote" author="Amy Mitchell" authordesc="Pew's Director of Journalism Research" isquoteoftheday="false"%

Crowdfunding is the practice of financing a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from many people, typically through the Internet.

%shareLinks-quote="Most of the journalism projects, or 64 percent, were to be reported in the U.S. The rest proposed overseas work in more than 60 countries." type="spreadWord"%

The number of crowdfunded journalism projects hit 173 from January through last September, up from 17 that were funded from Kickstarter's launch in April 2009 through the end of that year.

The number of people contributing increased to almost 26,000 in 2015 from 792 in 2009.

Breakdown of Content Producers at Major Online Publications Graphiq

The crowdfunded projects and revenue produced are still a small fraction of daily reporting output and the $20 billion in yearly newspaper advertising alone, Pew said.

They also trail well behind other crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter, More than 18,000 film and video projects, more than 6,000 gaming proposals and almost 8,000 art projects have been funded through the site.

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