Algonquin College launches Canada’s first community-funded news site

Algonquin College has launched, a community-funded journalism site.

The site, which is modelled after California’s successful, is the product of an open-source research project funded by Algonquin.

A press release reads:

“Its intent is simple. In an era of shrinking newspaper pages and space for important stories, 24/7 deadlines, smaller news staffs and declining emphasis on investigative and enterprise journalism, invites the public and freelance journalists to suggest stories of interest to the Ottawa community, then have them funded directly by public donations of any amount.

“Freelance journalists can claim the pitches and be paid from the donations, or propose their own stories. The public can support the stories through donations, or suggest others. facilitates the donations and payment to the journalists, through the college’s online payment system, so the stakeholders can trust the process.”

A news organization can buy exclusive rights to a story, but only if it “agrees to pay 51% or more of the total freelance free after 100% of the total is raised.”

The project director is Joe Banks, a former community newspaper editor and publisher and now professor/coordinator of the Algonquin Journalism program. He worked with director David Cohn, who donated the architecture needed to create In the press release, Banks says the site is a “new way to ensure journalism that’s important to the public good gets published.”