When readers finance quality journalism: Crowdfunding figures under the magnifying glass

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Quality content in journalism can no longer be financed - a common opinion. Because the readers, so many editors believe, are not interested in it. And certainly not for elaborate reports, eg for Eastern Europe. According to the Association of Journalists, the reaction of a German daily newspaper to this project, with which three journalists are now proving the opposite, was "certainly not when we have to put money into their hands". The action also shows very well under what conditions readers are willing to pay for good reports. When readers finance quality journalism: crowdfunding numbers under the microscope when readers finance quality journalism: crowdfunding numbers under a magnifying glass

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

Must make money hurt?


I must confess that I myself belonged to the group for a long time, who believed that I could not earn money from beautiful and interesting content. For example, because readers on the Internet are looking for quickly usable information. Or perhaps unconsciously, the German attitude "making money must hurt" was not really behind it.

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Finally dared to start an international reportage project. More for personal pleasure, because out of conviction to have found the great business idea. Supported by various sponsors, I have been reporting for over a year on job profiles, business and marketing ideas worldwide.

Readers like what the author likes


What I did not expect, but I am all the more pleased: The matter arrives. The reports from all over the world are being lied to, tweeted, plagued and commented - and also from abroad.

And what I notice more and more: the readers like exactly such texts, to which I also have a strong emotional connection. Apparently, you notice it to the texts when I am with pleasure. Or if I am particularly upset about a topic.

Success is unpredictable


That changed my view of the world. And shows that success in the end is completely unpredictable. The reports from around the world are becoming more and more my unique selling proposition. He spurs me on to find even more exciting and interesting stories for my readers. And it helps me to gain new sponsors - and more advertisers.

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All the more I am pleased, even if other journalists are not deterred by the common doctrines from the editorial offices - and take their research into their own hands: With the action Facingeurope.

Crowdfunding for research in Eastern Europe


Facing Europe - that's six journalists from three nations. For one month in September, they travel in two teams through Romania and Bulgaria. They want to find out what has changed since the EU joined the two countries 2007.

Every day, they report on their blog and on Twitter what has changed in the last few years since joining the EU - in addition to common clichés - and interrogate, among others, young conservationists, wood thieves and artists.

The project will be financed by crowdfunding - and still up to the 20.08.2012. And the premium selection and approval of the readers shows very well, under which conditions such a project can work - which exactly confirms my observation.

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Crowdfunding numbers under the magnifying glass


The readers crowdfunden prevailed for such premiums to which they have an emotional connection: for example trashpostcards, what a funny idea, for 25 Euro, with 14 supporters the most popular premium. Tightly followed by the personal souvenir for 50 Euro or the personal photo.

The Dankeschön package for 100 Euro or the personal slide show for 300 Euro is also available to customers.

On the other hand, what are not interested in are the business and advertising bonuses such as a workshop on mobile travel journalism, a business logo or even the premium sponsorship for 1.000 Euro.

Readers want emotional identification


My thesis after this little analysis and from personal experiences: readers are interested in well-told stories about people. What interests them, however, is the personal, emotional attachment to the people in history and the possibility to identify with it.

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The story must somehow provide the reader with an emotional starting point. If offered to the reader, financing can work as well.

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