CIVIL: a decentralized marketplace for sustainable journalism


The ad-driven revenue model that traditionally funded quality journalism has not translated to the digital economy. Journalism is a fundamental pillar of free, democratic societies, and newsrooms around the world are facing an existential threat like never before. We’re committed to introducing a new funding model that enables journalists to focus on journalism, not satisfying clicks-over-quality mandates from third parties like advertisers and publishers.

While the efforts of both companies to bolster local journalism — a vital pillar of any free, democratic society — are admirable in theory, one can be forgiven for seeing this as a thinly-veiled marketing ploy at best. Lost in both companies’ announcements is the massive role each have played in getting us to our present, negative state — and how neither company’s latest, local journalism-focused overture will introduce any fundamental changes to local news business models, which are currently facing an existential threat, other than potentially making them even more reliant on both companies’ search algorithms, and their respective propensities to change them on a whim.


Right on, PUBLIC is on the same track but no blockchain (because we care for protecting our sources) and eu based


There is no evidence that blockchain cannot protect sources. If the source contacts a journalist, this is the journalist who will put the information on the blockchain. Never lose the adage that the blockchain only knows what’s on it and remains blind to the rest of the world.

I recommend reading The long view of technology. It gives insights on what’s missing with blockchains, and of course we can’t predict that protection of sources will become a major issue since other technologies already exist to pass on information anonymously, e.g., SecureDrop.

A platform, or a technology system, is more than a particular technology; instead, it is greater than the sum of specific technologies which make it up. A platform becomes the dominant idea of its time, an organising principle for society which permeates language and thought.

I guess we’re there for blockchains. But there are many alternatives under the radar that, hopefully, by the time blockchains ‘become everything’, will emerge in turn to break the illusion of safety.

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