Ambitious storytelling startup Newsmotion, which brings together a team of multidisciplinary journalists and photographers, is stumping for seed money with online platform Kickstarter.
To date, they've received about half of the $35,000 they need to fund further reporting and invest in a tech platform that will keep pace with the multimedia, multilingual news stories they aim to tell.
The website, which started teasing out content in September, will focus on topics including human rights, economic justice and nonviolent resistance.
Newsmotion's blog currently offers a fascinating glimpse of what's to come - from Pulitzer Prize winners Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson on American workers to a preview of Lara Santoro's piece on the death of Rwanda expert and human rights activist Alison Des Forges.
"We're creating a new model of civic media," Julian Rubinstein, award-winning independent journalist and Newsmotion founder, told IJNet.
Rubinstein, who began his career writing about sports at the Washington Post back when editors frequently reminded reporters that there was "no rooting from the press box," says it's time for journalists to take a stand.
"Newsmotion isn't advocacy journalism but we're a progressive organization and a proactive one. It's a crucial time in the world to provide a forum that can produce engaging stories and enable people to connect with each other and find solutions."
Newsmotion contributors currently volunteer their time and expertise to make the project happen; Rubenstein envisions that the payoff for content producers will come through a mix of revenue sharing from ebook sales, pay-per-view subscriptions, donations and grants.
Another component of the fledgling news collective is supporting the work of global citizen journalists. Partners in the Newsmotion project include People’s Production House, a journalism training and production institute. The team is also developing civic media badges for websites to identify how news was gathered by people on the streets and vet its quality, a concept that got them named one of the 60 winners of stage one in The HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition.
So far, the Newsmotion project has provided a number of challenges for the neo-entrepreneurs. Rubenstein, whose adventurous career includes spending a day in a Lebanese Army holding cell for filming in a restricted area and getting booted from a gallery by John McEnroe, didn't know how to send a newsletter. Something he needed to learn quickly drum up financial support for the project.
"By hook or crook we'll get there," he said. "It's amazing how much work fundraising is, it's the last thing I realized as a content person."