The Ferret uses crowdfunding for investigative journalism projects picked by its audience

Credit: USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Creative Commons.
Credit: USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Creative Commons.

A new crowdfunded, crowdsourced investigative journalism website fueled by freelance writers meant to take a closer look at some of Scotland’s most pressing issues launched this week.

The Ferret brings together a group of renowned investigative journalists to tackle a single topic of importance once a month.

The first investigation will focus on fracking, the process people use to extract natural gas from the Earth following a vote by the site’s supporters, who pay £3 a month.

The Indiegogo campaign to find the project has thus far brought in about £4,100, successfully reaching its goal Thursday after just a few days.

 This is by no means the first story by members of the group.

The Ferret writers has also written stories about police misconduct, a potential nuclear disaster, missing students in Mexico and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

the-ferret-scotland

Read more about it on The Guardian and The Media Briefing.

It’s been a pretty busy week in crowdfunded journalism in the U.K.
Positive News shattered its initial goal and raised more than £260,000 in their #OwnTheMedia crowdfunding campaign to create a cooperative.

See this Through the Cracks piece published last week by Positive News titled “How crowdfunding is revolutionizing journalism – and the world.”

The platform Byline, whose launch we reported on in April, published the third part of their interview with Julian Assange.

Announced Thursday, Byline now counts crowdsource forensics expert and Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins among its contributors who both publish on the platform and crowdfund.

Author Norman Finkelstein also launched a Byline campaign. If £100,000 is raised, he will write a monthly column.

Money raised will be donated to help rebuild a Palestinian hospital.

An intro video and new features that allow readers to interact directly with journalists were also added to the site.

You can read more about their recent efforts on Journalism.co.uk.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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