The Tribune Company is looking at potentially selling its newspapers, and one Indiegogo project from The Other 98% wants to “put the ‘free’ back in ‘free press'” by crowdfunding the money to purchase the media conglomerate. The price tag? Oh, you know, only $660 million. Today they are just over $60,000, with 30 days remaining in the campaign.
“The Tribune Company is staffed by amazing journalists who have dedicated their lives to the responsibilities of the first amendment,” says a project organizer, Nicole, in the promotional video. “But corporate consolidation is killing their profession.”
The group behind the project is a very Occupy-esque non-profit organization that wants to bring awareness to economic injustice, undue corporate influence and threats to democracy. Though it’s very unlikely that they could raise the money to buy The Tribune Company, the idea of community-owned press is an interesting concept. In a way, it’s the model that NPR uses, as well as other membership-based small news sites.
What do you think — could the community-owned model work for newspapers?