- Date Awarded
- Grant Period
- 09/01/09 to 12/31/11
- Focus Area
- Journalism & Media Innovation
- Los Angeles, CA
To expand Spot.us, a project that publicly finances local investigative reporting, to Los Angeles in a partnership with the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California
Spot.us is a 2008 Knight News Challenge winner. It uses micropayments collected from the public to fund local investigative and enterprise reporting. Since its launch in San Francisco a year ago, about 30 articles have been proposed, funded and written, the highest profile one for The New York Times. Rather than backing a news organization, the public is asked to consider funding individual stories. By seeing what stories the public is willing to pay for, and creating a mechanism to do so, Spot.us is testing the viability of an alternative funding stream for local news during an era in which daily newspapers are shedding local reporters.
This project will extend Spot.us to Los Angeles through a partnership with the University of Southern California School of Journalism. The platform will be redeveloped to be more easily extended to additional cities with new features. Ultimately, we hope this grant shows how to scale Spot.us to any city and have it be sustainable there. Additionally, it is hoped that Spot.us shows that crowdsourced reporting is a way to involve more people in the solutions to problems in their communities.