Civil, a decentralized newsmaking platform has announced $5 million in funding from ConsenSys, a leading global blockchain venture studio. ConsenSys is committing $2.5 million in capital and $2.5 million in services in support of Civil’s newsmaking platform that enables a direct relationship between journalists and readers.
In Civil’s self-governing marketplace, readers may directly sponsor newsrooms, and journalists collaboratively run their own publications. Readers may subscribe to Civil-hosted publications, and will use Civil’s cryptocurrency or “CVL” tokens to sponsor individual journalists, investigations and stories, creating a new collaborative model for the gathering and dissemination of news. Civil’s independent journalism advisory board will govern the platform overall, in order to ensure that fair, objective, professional standards are met throughout the network.
The blockchain-based platform and its smart contracts will protect journalists against censorship and intellectual property disputes while fostering transparency across the network. Meanwhile, properly incentivized collaborative editing and fact-checking will substantially limit misinformation.
Civil founder Matthew Iles said:
“By providing the economic incentives and governance structures for newsmakers – writers, editors, photographers, fact-checkers – to self-organize, Civil offers a new business model for journalism. Our goal is to create a self-sustaining global marketplace for journalism that is free from advertising, fake news, and outside influence.”
Initially the platform will focus on local, policy and investigative reporting. Civil has dedicated one million dollars to fund the First Fleet, a diverse group of top-tier journalists creating their own newsrooms and publications. Interested journalists can now apply on Civil’s website.
Civil’s newsmaking platform and its CVL token sale will launch simultaneously in early 2018 with live newsrooms including Popula, an alternative news and culture publication. Journalist, editor and entrepreneur Maria Bustillos, whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Awl, Harper’s, the Guardian and The New York Times, will manage the Popula newsroom, joined by Sasha Frere-Jones, Ryan Bradley, Aaron Bady and other well-known journalists.
Civil is partnering with ConsenSys; the cryptoeconomics advisory team at CoinFund, led by Jake Brukhman and Alex Bulkin; and editorial strategy firm Old Town Media, led by Josh Benson, Katherine Lehr and Tom McGeveran to launch the platform, tokens and newsrooms.
Joseph Lubin, Ethereum co-founder and founder of ConsenSys stated:
“Decentralizing technologies have enormous potential to unlock new business models and reinvigorate the digital media landscape, putting power back in the hands of journalists and readers. Built on the Ethereum platform, the most advanced manifestation of blockchain technology, Civil will provide opportunities for journalists to build reputations and take home value, and for users to access trustworthy, high-quality information.”
“As a leader driving the development of the Ethereum ecosystem worldwide, ConsenSys is proud to support Civil, which is not only a natural, innovative, excellent use of the technology, but also backed up by a strong team and aligned with our mission to drive change which puts economic, social and political systems on firmer, healthier foundations.”