Newsmotion, a Soon-to-Launch Multilingual Journalism Platform

With traditional publishers struggling for survival, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Spot.Us are shifting the way journalists and other creatives finance their work. We’ve previously covered some of these campaigns. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Newsmotion, an ambitious new platform that will engage scientists, educators and professional and citizen journalists around the globe.

Newsmotion’s founders hope to reach their $35,000 Kickstarter goal by Thursday, December 29. They’re also applying for other funding sources through grants and plan on having a soft launch with some elements of the site in the spring of 2012.

Julian Rubinstein, an adjunct journalism professor at Columbia and a Newsmotion cofounder, says the goal is to publish “immersive first-person type narratives, stories that are not told by a reporter but told in the voices of the characters.” Partnering with People’s Production House, Newsmotion will help train groups like low-wage workers, immigrants, and aat-risk youth on digital media so they can share their own stories. The multilingual site will cover themes like immigration, human rights, and nonviolent resistance.

According to Rubinstein, the idea came in response to global news like Egypt and Libya over the past year and journalism’s own evolution. When Rubinstein began his career as a sports writer, he says, “there was a classic adage that was applicable: ‘no rooting in the press box,’ which also applied to political article writers. You weren’t supposed to have a stake in what you’re covering, but we no longer feel that way.”

Using open-source technology and collaborative storytelling, Newsmotion plans to curate stories and help identify credible sources of information. Rubinstein hopes that Newsmotion’s tech features will help “incentivize sources to tell not only accurate stories” but also to elevate the quality of those stories as evaluated by Newsmotion users.

As a fledgling nonprofit, Newsmotion doesn’t have the budget to hire a publicist or marketing team, but Rubinstein says they’re already generating buzz through their Kickstarter campaign and hopes that momentum continues.

They’re also eyeing monetization options and considering a hybrid business model for the future. Rubinstein says he’s not interested in pursuing a “Huffington Post ad model,” but other revenue streams might include subscriptions, pay-per-article plans (ala Kindle Singles, which we covered here), sponsored or syndicated content, and coproduction opportunities. Find out more about Newsmotion through their website or Kickstarter campaign.

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