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A donation-based funding model for quality independent journalism
Matthew Chapman
Email Verified
United Kingdom
2 Team Members

Recent media coverage

'Crowdfunding independent journalism' - Journalism.co.uk

'Newspryng: ещё один проект, где можно заплатить журналисту за его работу'-  МедиаБизнес (mediabusiness.com)

'Newspryng : site d’information mêlant journalisme indépendant et crowdfunding' - Good Morning Crowdfunding

'Newspryng Launches New Crowdfunding Platform For Freelance Writers & Journalists' - Crowdfund Insider

What is Newspryng?

Newspryng experiments with a new crowdfunding model for journalism that seeks to open up journalism and create an environment that supports quality stories.

We believe financial pressures are suffocating quality journalism and traditional news organisations are locked in a race to the bottom as they chase online advertising revenues.

It is our hope we can create a new model for journalism that will provide the audience with quality content and financially reward great journalism while removing barriers to entry into the trade.

Newspryng will provide a place where anyone with a decent story to tell can come to get published and raise money directly from the audience.

Contributors will not have their stories twisted by the political bias or agenda of a publisher, leaving the journalist to tell the story as they see it.

The audience is not required to pay for the content, but are invited to make a donation if they like what they see.

We have already launched a beta site to test the concept with exclusive stories and interviews with figures including Sir Richard Branson, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop and newsreader Cathy Newman.

How you can help

We now need your support to help us fund the development of the Newspryng platform beyond the beta WordPress version. 

It is our aim to build from scratch a dynamic platform that will democratise the publishing process and build in secure micropayments functionality.

Increasingly news is being consumed on mobile devices so we want to simplify the payment process as much as possible to allow the audience to quickly and confidently make one-off payments to the journalist. 

We want to create as transparent a platform as possible by building a system where donors are refunded if the story is proved to be false or plagiarised. 

We are also investigating the feasibility of a Wikipedia-style sub-editing and fact-checking process to make this a truly inclusive platform.

Lastly, and just as importantly, we need to seek legal advice to ensure the content the website hosts is fully compliant with media law. 

    The impact

    Journalism is becoming increasingly hard to break into as traditional media organisations lay-off staff and ask people to work for free. 

    I personally had to do a year's unpaid work experience before I landed my first full time journalism role. Fortunately my family could afford to support me financially during this time, but others are not so lucky. 

    By allowing unpaid internships we are seriously limiting the diversity within the industry. 

    When we interviewed Ian Hislop he warned unpaid internships were devaluing the profession and shrinking the recruitment pool. Meanwhile, Cathy Newman believes there is a lack of diversity and there are far too few women and ethnic minorities in journalism. 

    We hope Newspryng will provide a means for anyone to make a living out of journalism whatever their background.

    Newspryng also aims to provide a platform for more established journalists in a world where clickbait is rewarded rather than in-depth journalism. 

    We believe the public still value quality journalism and will reward those who deliver it to them. 

    In New Zealand a journalist earned more than ten times the freelance rate when he decided to publish a story himself and ask for donations from the public. 

    This model allows everyone to benefit. The audience are provided with better quality journalism and the journalists get to pursue the stories that matter to them and receive the financial rewards they deserve. 

      What we are up against

      People have been conditioned not to pay for online journalism so this project requires a certain amount of behaviour change. 

      We believe the tide is changing and people are now becoming more willing to pay for online news with the rise of paywalls. 

      However, we believe paywalls are too prescriptive and the surge in crowdfunding's popularity has convinced us financing journalism through a form of crowdfunding is the way forward. 

      Richard Branson, who began his career in journalism, points out crowdfunding in its traditional sense is not the silver bullet for journalism. 

      He argues that if only ideas that receive funding make it into fruition, then other ideas will be overlooked, and there is a risk biased and censored journalism will prevail.

      We believe our model, which funds the journalism after it has been published, removes that risk. 

      Another challenge will be to attract contributors to Newspryng but we believe that if we reach our crowdfunding target and build up a loyal audience we can convince journalists that publishing their work on our platform is a safe bet. 

        Other ways you can help

        Please help spread the word. Currently we do not have a marketing budget so we need to rely on social media and word of mouth marketing. 

        If you know any journalists or aspiring journalists who might like to contribute tell them about us because we would love to publish their work. 

        We are looking for work from all across the globe and not just the UK, so please get in touch at spryngbox@gmail.com if you want to contribute yourself or know any friends who could contribute. 

        We want to be a platform for all types of journalism whether it is written articles, photojournalism, podcasts or film. 

          Thanks for your support :-)

          Matt and Ben

          Find This Campaign On
          raised in 1 month
          11% funded
          No time left
          £20,000 GBP goal
          Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its £20,000GBP funding goal by the deadline.
          Campaign Closed
          This campaign ended on August 13, 2014
          Select a Perk
          • £10GBP
            Friend of Newspryng

            Credited as a friend of Newspryng on a dedicated page on the website. You will also be added to newsletters featuring the project's progress and editorial highlights.

            6 claimed
          • £25GBP
            Choose our logo

            You get to vote on Newspryng’s logo from a selection of designs by up-and-coming graphic designer Alicia Strzelec. You will also receive a personalised postcard from us thanking you for your support. Plus: Credited as a donor on a dedicated page on the website A sign up to the newsletter

            4 claimed
          • £50GBP
            Launch party invite

            You will be invited to our London launch party. Plus: Credited as a donor on a dedicated page on the website A sign up to the newsletter Personalised thank you postcard Choose the logo

            5 claimed
          • £100GBP
            Help influence our strategy

            Automatically become part of an editorial advisory board that is consulted about the direction of Newspryng. Plus: Credited as a donor on a dedicated page on the website A sign up to the newsletter Personalised thank you postcard Choose the logo Invite to London launch party

            7 claimed
          • £250GBP
            Quarterly strategy meeting

            Invite to the first four quarterly strategy meetings. Plus: Credited as a donor on a dedicated page on the website A sign up to the newsletter Personalised thank you postcard Choose the logo Invite to London launch party Become a member of the editorial advisory board

            2 out of 15 claimed
          • £500GBP
            Dinner with founders

            Have dinner with founders Matt and Ben to discuss Newspryng and independent journalism (or something else entirely!) Plus: Credited as a donor on a dedicated page on the website A sign up to the newsletter Personalised thank you postcard Choose the logo Invite to London launch party Become a member of the editorial advisory board Invite to the first four quarterly strategy meetings

            0 out of 10 claimed
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