A hat tip to Meghan Warby for pointing this out to me . . . A small independent daily online magazine called Tyee based in British Columbia may have the new financial model for journalism we have been looking for. Tyee is dedicated to tough investigative reporting that "swims against the current" and its editor, David Beers, is asking readers to help finance political reporting during the current B.C. provincial election campaign because of the high costs of such coverage.
But this isn't just the standard 'send us some money and we'll figure out what to do with it' donation approach. Beers wants funders to tell the publication what issue they want it to cover, and that's how it will direct the funds. The publication is committed to directing the money to reporting on the issue that the donor specifies.
So, if you are concerned about the policies, programs or track record of the candidates on, for example, gang violence in Vancouver or environmental issues, you can tell Tyee when you send in your cheque and it will use it to finance the reporting of the journalists covering that beat for the magazine. The impact? With an extra $5,000, Tyee "could pay for about 30 extra reporter days . . . an extra reporter every day of the election campaign."
Let's talk about this.