With the aim to battle the ‘fake news’ phenomenon Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched a new online publication – Wikitribune – on Monday. The website will function on a crowdfunding model, and supporters who pay will have a say in the subjects and stories the journalists pursue. (At Newslaundry, we have the NL Sena project that relies on crowdfunding to cover issues that either get buried or are ignored by mainstream media.)
Further, readers will be able to fact-check and edit published articles like on Wikipedia itself. The website will be ad-free and the content will be free to access.
Calling Wikitribune “news by the people and for the people”, Wales remarked that, “This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts.” Incidentally, Wikitribune isn’t Wales’ first venture into the news space. In late 2004, the Wikimedia Foundation (also co-founded by Wales) launchedWikinews, a collaborative journalism project.
Since its launch, the website has racked up more than 5,500 supporters and hired three of 10 journalists it intends to employ.