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April 8, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:37am

Irish news publisher launches platform to crowdfund investigation ideas submitted by public

By James Walker

An Irish news publisher has created a new crowdfunding platform for in-depth reports and investigations into stories suggested by the public.

Noteworthy, owned Journal Media, which publishes news website The Journal, aims to turn readers suggestions into full proposals that the public can then pay towards to turn them into stories.

The scheme has received backing from Google’s Digital News Innovation fund, although the amount received has not been made public.  Further funding for stories will also come from Noteworthy itself.

The new platform’s editor, Ken Foxe, told Press Gazette that the platform aims to fund investigations entirely from public donations once it has a “sufficient volume” of users.

The website is in its “staging version”, according to Foxe, and is expected to be out of its beta phase by the end of November.

Asked what motivated the creation of the new platform, Foxe said: “I think it’s the same issue that affects media in every country of the world where investigative, more in-depth reporting is often times the first thing that gets chopped…

“If a media organisation comes under pressure, it tends to be those projects that take most time that often fall off the agenda.

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“The main idea is to create a new way of funding that slightly more in-depth reporting. We know readers want it, it doesn’t necessarily pay for itself in an advertising way so we’re looking for a new way of funding the type of journalism that the public wants.”

Dublin-based Noteworthy is manned by three editorial staff – a reporter, a designer and editor Foxe. He said the platform planned to bring in freelances to work on investigations once enough were up-and-running.

He also suggested that staff on The Journal could work on stories as well as any other publishers looking to partner on bigger projects.

Readers who want to submit ideas to Noteworthy can do so by signing up and filling out a form. Foxe said this system was tested on a “limited basis” in December and that proposals already on its website were from that trial.

These include suggestions for stories on bad behaviour in social housing, gambling addiction in Ireland and grade inflation. Foxe said Journal Media would be alerting readers to the platform through its other publications.

Picture: Noteworthy

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