Monday, July 20, 2009

The new journalism -- get out a tin cup and beg for funding

Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The New York Times, in a column on Sunday described how journalistic assignments are funded now:

"Lindsey Hoshaw, a freelance journalist in Palo Alto, Calif., hopes to sell a multimedia slide show and maybe an article to The Times about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of floating plastic trash caught in swirling currents in a stretch of ocean twice the size of Texas.

"But first, she has to get there. To help finance a $10,000 reporting trip aboard a research vessel, Hoshaw has turned to Spot.Us, a Web site where reporters appeal for donations to pay for their projects. If she can raise $6,000 before the September departure date — so far, only about $1,600 has come in — she will take out a loan for the rest, she said.

"The Times has told Hoshaw that it might pay about $700 for the pictures, more if it also buys a story. To some, this is exploitation — the mighty New York Times forcing a struggling journalist to beg with a virtual tin cup."

Hoyt does not disapprove. he kicked in twenty bucks for the project. Click on the title to read his column.

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