Since always, the issues related to journalism have been debated and discussed among individuals and companies. But the problems have never changed much. Indeed, governments, corporations, companies and other powerful actors have controlled how journalism works.
One of the main problems is related to transparency, accountability, and also censorship. But there is an exponential growth of public concern about the crisis that journalism is living now. And the main intention behind it is to change these situations.
Government funded news lack independence and trust. Non-profit organizations can also own some news outlets, but in general they cannot sustain their operations for the long term, even when they are potentially independent. And yes, there is a cheap and shocking content that is paid by advertising companies which harvests personal data from viewers.
Moreover, many news companies have given up their relationship with Google and Facebook, important giants in the internet. But companies need to follow the rules established by these important actors in the market, which are aimed at generating better results (SEO keyword stuffing or socially engineered clickbait).
The internet has became an inspiring utopian of a free and open information and communication network. But the internet has now become known for nastiness, misinformation and wrong incentives when it comes to journalism.
At the same time, the weak public sentiment to news agencies is shown as Fake News, and people have lost trust in their news agencies. But the situation is getting worse very fast.
Civil Media Company Wants To Solve These Problems
Here is where Civil Media Company enters to solve these problems. Indeed, the main intention is to create a bridge and strengthen the relationship between news sources and the public.
Civil, started after a Ph.D in machine learning from Mexico decided to help to solve the corruption and violence against journalists in the country. In Egypt for example, another journalist asked on how Civil could help her news organization fight against the governments. In the end, an entrepreneur in india asked if he could start a news agency on Civil, so as to help ‘democracy survive.’
After receiving these requests, Civil decided to take action. And indeed, the intention is to change and solve all these problems.
Civil is a decentralized communications protocol for both journalists and the public. The system does not need other third parties including advertisers and centralized publisher giants. Civil wants to support independent newsrooms that are focused on producing high-quality local, international, investigative and policy news.
Blockchain technology will help increase transparency between journalists and citizens. Additionally the platform will be strengthening protections for journalists against censorship and intellectual property violations. Civil will be the operating paradigm shift in the news industry that will solve these problems.
On the Civil platform there are no centralized operators controlling the distribution of content to the public. Civil will be strengthening trust between citizens and traditional news agencies. In order to do so, Civil will be working on the Ethereum blockchain, which is used in many other decentralized projects in the market.
Furthermore, it will be built by an active community of consumers, content creators, fact checkers and publishers, which will be taking public decisions on how to organize newsrooms and the type of content published on the network. Compared to traditional media, this is much better because there is no editor that dictates what the reader is going to consume.
The platform is built on openness, decentralization, self-governance, immutable records, and mission-aligned incentives. In this way, it will be possible to start the change in Journalism from the current traditional media paradigm to one focused on trust, freedom and justice.
There are three key points on the platform:
- It is owned and operated by journalists and citizens and it is not controlled by governments or companies.
- It is committed to self-sovereign identity, intellectual property, rights, censorship resistance and more.
- It has a business model across licensing and syndication, reputation and talent, membership and advocacy, verification and fact-checking and advertising sponsorship.
In sum, Civil is much more than a token or a platform, it is a journalism movement that aims to change the way in which the media works nowadays.
Journalism And A New Ecosystem
The Civil community will be using a cryptocurrency called CVL, which will be powering a token-curated registry (TCR). A part of this TCR is the council which can review challenges, and help protect against mob rule. The council is led by expert journalists, academics, and free press leaders from all over the world. This ensures a decentralization of governance.
Moreover, the Civil Constitution contains the core values and working standards of the Civil ecosystem. CVL token holders are motivated to see the Civil ecosystem flourish, which means that all the actors are held accountable for their actions through the decentralized governance system.
Change The Publishing Process
Anyone on Civil is able to contribute pieces of journalism, but it will be important for them to pledge to follow the rules that are outlined in the Civil Constitution. Those who violate it, will lose CVL tokens, and be banned from the ecosystem.
Civil makes a ‘fingerprint’ of the source of content. Data such as who was the author, through what newsroom and more, is stored in a verifiable and non-hackable manner. Users can be sure that journalists work in an authentic way and are held accountable for their actions.
Moreover, Civil will be using blockchain technology to enable a superior management of digital property, a better system than the one used by other traditional sources. Newsrooms can more efficiently track, control, and monetize their content with third-party licenses. Those licensed expired will be automatically revoked.
Civil wants to create a more direct form of membership support between journalists and citizens. Those who contribute to newsrooms with crypto know that 100% of their funds will reach their intended target.
Citizens will have always the possibility to support newsrooms by using fiat currencies as well. That means that Civil will be not only eliminating intermediaries and third party influencers, but it will also use the cryptocurrencies to power engagement and advocacy through an unusual way of dynamic reward systems which vests members in the long-term sustainability of the newsroom.
A New Form Of Curation
The Civil ecosystem will be facilitating a new and improved form of curation and discovery. Those who help influence and spread high-quality material may be rewarded in an economic way. A the same time, newsrooms will have the possibility to share more traffic more efficiently. Fact-checkers can be incentivized to vet evolving stories in detail.
Privacy And Identity
Civil brings the community self-sovereign identity, a new paradigm for user privacy and online control. Everything backed by blockchain technology. Journalists can share their status with the world but also mask it when appropriate or necessary.
Civil will be using virtual currencies to enable and reward higher-quality forms of social content online. Journalists will be able to tip citizens for making insightful comments, and citizens can earn status across newsrooms to unlock premium features in the platform.
Bad actors will have increasing fines or will have to face an outright ban. Social media is currently flooded with several bots, misinformation, and hateful trolls.
By using blockchain technology, censorship resistance is enabled through permanent archiving and decentralized storage. With this storage process, it is impossible for a single actor change the ledger. Civil is also working with different universities around the world to support a decentralized storage solution for journalism.
Different Advertising Methods
Journalism has always inter-meddled with third-party advertising, but there is a malicious new paradigm that is known for personal harvesting data and social hacking. Civil believes that journalism must be independent but also sustainable. And this is why, it recognizes that an utterly ad free approach is impossible. But instead, blockchain technology is able to introduce advertising into a purpose built, self-governing environment, ensuring adherence to the purpose, value and ethics of the platform.
Future Of Civil
Civil has already partnered with some important institutions around the world, and the list is growing constantly. The launch of CVL token this summer will kick-off this innovative project. The tokens will be distributed to participating journalists and the governance. Based on increasing demand Civil is expecting to have more than 1000 newsrooms before 2019.