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The Rebirth of The Journalist As a Civil Servant


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The Rebirth of The Journalist As a Civil Servant

  1. 1. Spot.Us Erik Sundelof Chief Technical Officer, Spot.US Providing the Tools for the Journalist to be a Civil Servant
  2. 2. Who am I?  MA in Chemical Engineering, PhD in Numerical Analysis (ABD), Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden  Heavily involved in the early blogging scene in Sweden - The Diary of the Glamourprincess (biggest blog in Sweden 2005-2007)  Stanford Fellowship – “How to improve news coverage in Iraq?”  Covered on CNN, BBC, PBS and one of 25 highlights on Discovery International  Co-founder, VP of Social Media and User Interface  Left the full time position in in January 2010, currently CTO for the non-profit organization Spot.Us
  3. 3. The Basics  News is information.  Information educates, informs and raises concerns when needed.  There are other kinds of information that are not news, but are still useful for communities  The journalist is a civil servant or server (the spider in the web?)  The journalist informs the community.  The journalist educates the community.  The journalist champions issues relevant to the community she/he serves.  Etc…  Somewhere along the way spider lost its way!
  4. 4. R.I.P. : Traditional Local News Model  In the old model, local coverage meant more journalists…  More journalists means larger salary costs!  Two main factors contributed to the death:  The birth of blogs/blog platforms and local alternative news sites shrunk the market.  The change of advertising and classifieds (i.e. Craigslist) shrunk the advertising revenue.  As an executive, you will cut where your organization bleeds.  Hence local news coverage was cut as of its poor profitability.  Ex. The downsizing of Knight Ridder and others.  But local coverage is still important and vital!  Examples,, local blogs and new local models.
  5. 5. This is where local news really matters…
  6. 6. Why is local news important?  The importance of local news is essential for democracy.  Local reporting has a direct effect on the daily life of users (let’s not forget they’re people after all )  Don’t forget the tremendous importance of (local) investigative reporting.  Thing about your morning routine:  Morning shows mostly  Morning traffic, weather, crime, events etc.  Local news is just as important or more important in developing countries where information is not as ubiquitous.  The opportunity for a new business model and strategy for local news coverage emerges.
  7. 7. The rise of a new local global media
  8. 8. The concept of Spot.Us  Allows for a crowd-sourced model to finance local news reporting.  Brings the journalist closer to the community being served.  Creates a community around the reporting where the community can participate in and support every aspect of the reporting.  It also creates an audience of people invested in seeing the reporting happen.
  9. 9. Make it easy!  Allow anyone to donate with and without a credit card.  Free Credits (i.e. Donations) via Community Centered Advertising.  Allow anyone to fundraise off and on  Spot.Us is soon releasing an API for the key functionalities.  Allows for seamless social sharing.  Multiple social sharing tools assist in the fundraising efforts. It really is that simple!
  10. 10. The Site
  11. 11. Key offerings  The API allows any news organization to build their own fundraising mechanism using our backend.  The news organizations will not have to suffer all the pains of micro- donations.  The concept itself brings the community closer to the news organization.  It creates a natural way for the journalists to interact and communicate with the community.  The news organizations will report on the issues and topics important to the community.  Community Centered Advertising allows any community member to fund stories even if they do not have the funds.  Internationally this is incredibly important of several reasons.
  12. 12. Thank you!  Questions?  Erik Sundelof / @eriksundelof (Twitter/Skype)