7 innovative blockchain projects fixing news media
The news industry is in desperate need for some kind of disruption.
There are plenty of analyses and examples that examine this so I won’t go into details. Whether you choose to blame the internet and its noisy and overwhelming landscape, the broken business models, or the interests that push the agenda of publications, something needs to change and fast.
If you are an active follower of the technology space and you’ve kept yourself up to date with some of the newer technologies, you might have spotted a trend going on right now where all industries seem to be implementing blockchain infrastructure into their projects.
Some of these may not currently need it and they may just be capitalizing on a booming market. However, the news industry and the blockchain seem to be made for each other.
While news outlets can only work if people trust them, the blockchain introduced the concept of “Trustless trust”. With it, the blockchain can decentralise influence and control over information, remove the gatekeepers from public news access (whether that is a newsroom or a social media platform like Facebook), and ensure a censorship-free media landscape.
Although still in its early stages, there are already several projects being developed with blockchain technology to build the future of the news industry. A future that attempts to fix news creation and consumption, giving back power to the public, while benefitting all parts in the process.
Take a peek at what the future may bring with these seven projects:
1. Civil — http://joincivil.com
Civil: Self-Sustaining Journalism wants to reformulate and build a whole new operating model for journalism using the benefits of the blockchain.
In their own words, Civil is an Ethereum-based decentralized platform that can be used to create “newsrooms” and “stations” — blockchain-based marketplaces where citizens and journalists form communities around a shared purpose and set of standards, financially support factual reporting and investigative work, and substantially limit misinformation through effective collaborative-editing methods.
The intent of Civil is to create a mesh network of self-governing news marketplaces where news making, fact-checking and platform sustainability are economically rewarded.
2. Decentralized News Network — https://dnn.media
Decentralized News Network, or DNN Media for short, wants to combine the openness and freedom of blogs with the formal fact-checking of news organizations.
Similarly to Civil, they are looking to create a network of readers, writers, reviewers, and publishers that contribute to the platform to achieve independent news creation and, thanks to a review system, fact-checkers can validate writer submitted content for overall accuracy and legitimacy.
Simply put, writers produce and submit content, which is inspected for accuracy by a randomized set of reviewers on the network. Articles deemed acceptable enough as per DNN’s guidelines will be published to the network and made available to readers.
3. Media Sifter — http://mediasifter.co
The biggest issue with news sources in the digital age is verifiability. Media Sifter is solving this issue with a news aggregator that utilises the wisdom of the crowd to verify content through blockchain-powered user-consensus.
Unlike Civil or DNN, Media Sifter focuses on the reader and starts by fixing the consumption end of the news media process. Focused on the 4 stages of critical news consumption the platform will allow users to navigate through the noise and bias of the current media landscape by utilising the wisdom of the crowd to help verify or refute claims.
One of the main differences of Media Sifter is that by aggregating existing news, they are solving the chicken-and-egg problem from the supply side, thus creating value to attract users.
Thanks to this, users can also continue reading their usual sources of information, but they won’t have to go out of their way to be sure what they are reading is fact-checked. Instead, they will get a second layer of reporting curated by other active users on the platform.
4. Trive News — http://trive.news
Similar to Media Sifter, Trive News is also attempting to fix news media by fact checking on mass media verification rather than build a news publication platform.
Trive is a social science consensus engine that researches and clarifies facts through Human Swarmed crowd wisdom. They incentivize people to do primary research into news stories, and compensate them, while hashing/stashing the results on the blockchain.
The engine creates a Nash Equilibrium incentive structure for the research into news story claims. An antagonistic relationship between researchers and verifiers creates a checks/balances process that reinforces research quality.
5. Snip — https://www.snip.network
Snip is a decentralized, user-generated news platform where anyone can write a news story (“snip”) about a topic of their choice, and read news on the issues they care about.
Rather than targeting critical news consumption, the project is focused on concise and simple content. Although writers will be able to post content of any length the platform will be oriented towards short content.
In the platform, anyone can write a news story about any topic for readers to find. The content on the platform is personalized for each user using an open-source news feed algorithm, so users can personalize their own algorithm.
6. Steemit — https://steemit.com
Steemit is a blockchain-based social media platform where anyone can earn rewards.
Although it is closer to a social platform than a news media platform, Steemit is one of the first projects to focus on the decentralization of content and its creation.
Because of its decentralized and uncensored nature, a lot of journalists have opted for Steemit to share stories that would have otherwise not reached the media because it clashed with their interests.
7. Hubii — https://hubii.network
You might have heard about Hubii thanks to an unexpected “spokesman”, the boxer Floyd Mayweather. Hubii is a blockchain based decentralised content marketplace.
It is open to any type of content creation, including news in all of its formats. Their goal is to disintermediate gatekeeper companies and, put control in the hands of makers and users, and allow a true marketplace to establish value.
One particular use case of their network mentioned in their whitepaper is the “fake-news” detection. With it, a content creator can request the community verification of a set of facts within their article in exchange for earnings.
Like any technology in its early stages, it is difficult to predict which projects will succeed and which won’t. But as long as there are projects interested in keeping the industry alive and help the public get trustworthy and verified information, news media is still safe. And so is our society.
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