American Public Media announced today that it has acquired pioneering community funding website Spot.Us, and will incorporate it into the Public Insight Network (PIN) crowd-sourcing platform. The combination lays the foundation for a networked approach to sourcing and funding high-quality journalism that will help newsrooms and journalists gather the resources and insights they need to do great reporting.
David Cohn, founder of Spot.Us, spent a year as a Reynods Fellow at RJI developing and testing new sponsorship models for the crowd-funded reporting site. At the end of the fellowship, Cohn compiled a best practices guide for community-funded reporting. Click here to read his blog on rjionline.org or to download his guide.
"We're delighted to see the innovative work David did as a Reynolds Fellow grow into this great partnership," said Dean Mills, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. "And it will increase the impact of the partnership we already have with PIN, a project aimed at fostering new collaborations between citizens and journalists."
Spot.Us was founded in 2008, making this November the 3-year anniversary. Launched by Cohn with technical help from Erik Sundelof, Spot.Us was made possible with $340,000 in seed funding from the Knight Foundation through the Knight News Challenge, an international contest to find innovative, digital ideas for delivering news and information. The Knight Foundation also supported the Public Insight Network with a grant in 2008.
Spot.Us gives the public the opportunity to fund important journalism that is then distributed by newsrooms around the country. Community members can also take surveys from site sponsors to earn credits they can use to support the stories of their choice. Spot.Us has also drawn on support from individual funders, a network of advisors, designers and developers.
For more information, contact:
Tara Schlosser, American Public Media, 651-290-1436
Kelly Peery, Reynolds Journalism Institute, 573-882-9650