“What can’t you crowdfund?” is becoming the more answerable question.
Kickstarter’s journalism push comes at a time when advertising dollars skew toward new media channels and consumers increasingly seek out news on their phones and social media feeds. In many cases, the result has been shrinking newsroom revenue streams and a bloody fight for eyeballs -- which is why Kickstarter says its new product category is so important.
“It’d be a vast understatement to say the world of journalism is currently experiencing a lot of change,” said Kickstarter’s blog post announcing the new categories. “To us, that means it’s more important than ever to make sure journalists have the tools and resources to try new things — whether they’re professionals looking for innovative ways of funding and sharing their work, or ordinary folks with a hunger to tell the stories around them.”
The site has partnered with British newspaper the Guardian to handpick the journalism-based crowdfunding campaigns it considers especially interesting and worthwhile. Those projects are featured in a special section of the Kickstarter website. Right now, the projects featured include a project to investigate animal cruelty in big agriculture by taking photographs with drones and a project to distribute a local investigative newspaper in San Francisco by bicycle.
As part of the same announcement, Kickstarter said that it had added a “crafts” category to its roster. Crafts include the likes of knitting and candlemaking, glasswork and pottery, woodworking and taxidermy.
Kickstarter has been busy lately to expand its offerings. In April, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based crowdfunding platform announced that it had added 94 new subcategories, like 3-D printing, food trucks, architecture, playing cards, typography, pet fashion, robots and bacon (yup, bacon). And just last week, Kickstarter announced that it had streamlined its rules and made it faster to take a new campaign live on the site.