Crowdsourcing Visual Journalism

110307 emphasisEmphas.is is now online to help tell visual journalism stories via crowdfunding. From their blurb:

On Emphas.is you are the gatekeeper. Photojournalists pitch their projects directly to you. You get to decide whether a story is worth doing.

By agreeing to back a story, for a minimum contribution of $10, you are making sure that the issues that you care about receive the in-depth coverage they deserve.

In return you are invited along on the journey. Photojournalists on Emphas.is agree to enter into a direct dialogue with their backers, sharing their experiences and insights as the creative process unfolds.

The idea of crowdfunding has popped up in numerous places, from reporting projects to creative projects to small, international business endeavors. Will it work for visual journalism? It could, though it is a little reminiscent of the patronage system that has funded art for so long.

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