Italian newspaper tries to revive and keep its war reporting alive

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As the media industry continues to evolve, news organizations throughout the globe search for new ways to stay in the game.

Unfortunately, surviving in a ever-changing industry includes making some difficult financial decisions like scaling back coverage on certain issues or even fully eliminating a beat to cut costs. War reporting is one of the main casualties associated with these cuts.

However, thanks to a successful Crowdfunding pledge created by the Italian online national newspaper il Giornale.itreaders have a place to turn to for outstanding war coverage.

Three years ago il Giornale.it created the Crowdfunding project Gil Occhi della Guerra or “The Eyes of War” to inform readers about what’s going on in the war zones.

“To provide unique content, we decided to revive war reporting,”  said Andrea Potini, the CEO of il Giornale.iti. “To do this, we bet on what we consider our main resource: our readers. We started to Crowdfund.”

Gil Occhi della Guerra provides live, compelling war reporting, filling a much needed void in the media landscape.

Since its launch in 2013, the site has realized more than 40 reportings from countries plagued by conflicts from Africa to South America, from the Middle East to Asia.

Gil Occhi della Guerra has produced quality work like its 360 degrees report from the frontlines of Ukraine. This project was part of an innovation approach when three reporters were sent out to the Donbass region to report on war as they filmed various 360 degrees videos from the battlefield.

Gil Occhi della has already established a solid reputation. It landed in first place at the Inma Global Awards.

Money raised for this project is used to cover production costs. To ensure its donors transparency, the online newspaper created the nonprofit  Associazione per la Promozione del Giornalismo “The Association  to Promote Journalism,” according to Laura Lesévre’s blog.

Donors can track how their contributions are being used through the nonprofit. In fact, every single receipt produced by the reporters is published and featured in a special section of the website, according to Laura Lesévre.

“The readers trust us,” Potini said. “They trust the information we offer them, and they feel part of a club to which they want to belong to.”

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Robert Moreno
Robert is a full-time reporter for the Chula Vista Star-News covering local government and education beats and writing human interest stories. He is a believer in nonprofit journalism.

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