Online journalism suffers from the decline of traditional advertising models and the increasing number of clickbaits and fake news. Clickbaits are links surreptitiously placed on web pages to lead end users to particular websites. These current trends led to the dwindling of trust and public acceptance of online media.
Thanks to blockchain technology, online publishers now have a chance to strive for viewers’ trust. The technology could also have a solution to online journalism funding. A micro-payment ecosystem is being considered which wasn’t practical before the widespread use of blockchain technology.
Micro-tipping, a new payment model, is now possible due to the cryptocurrency token economy. The process will be cheaper and easier than tipping with fiat money and authors will find it easier to collect the micro-tips. Readers can also subscribe to a favorite author and micro-tip him/her rather than just tapping the ‘like’ button.
The model will be further developed to make it mutually beneficial to authors and commenters i.e. commenters will also be micro-tipped, thus, creating an incentive for constructive comments. The trolling phenomenon is also expected to reduce greatly if the users have to actually buy their right to comment on an activity.
The Civil project aims to create a newsroom platform that engages blockchain technology and a free marketplace for sustainable and independent journalism. The project will lead to journalism that is free of advertisements and third-party interests. The project will use Ethereum as its foundation and with time, will launch its own cryptocurrency called CVL.
The Civil project provides a means to readers to invest directly in uncorrupt and objective journalism. Closing down of journalism websites by influential individuals (e.g. DNAinfo, Gawker) can also be prevented through the project. Information within a blockchain network is permanent and immutable; no longer will published informational archives be erased from online history to suit political or individual interests.
Blockchain technology will not entirely solve all problems, but an indisputably decentralized online journalism system will be established in near future with benefits for both authors and readers, and not just for authors and advertising firms.