In the past year there have been some very interesting advents in crowd-funded enterprises. Crowd funding provides capitol by colelcting small amounts of money from a large number of people. In recent months Bands have started tours with crowd funding, and now there is a space where crowds can help fund the publication and production of certain pieces of journalism.
"Spot Us" is a nonprofit that allows an individual or group to take control of news by sharing the cost (crowdfunding) to commission freelance journalists. Spot Us is made possible by the Knight Foundation and the funding models will eventually help craft the kind of content that appears. What is interesting is that this creates a social long tail situation where the more interesting stories will garner funding and the rest will languish ... to be published on the internet and picked up by niche groups where they will thrive.
The crowd funding model for me goes beyond economics. It hits at the heart of the general consideration of a society and its media. If we had a choice, would we fund 18 months of Britney Spears coverage, or would we fund better more interesting? are the masses uncontent with the current content are going elsewhere. If given the opportunity to have more of a say, putting your money where your mouth is, would we see people campaigning for stories they care about? What would a crowd funded evening news look like both locally nd Nationally?