Friday I mentioned MATTER, a longform journalism project focusing on science and technology (H/T Jack Stilgoe). It’s currently four days into a 30-day Kickstarter push, and has already raised over $76,000 (U.S.). The two minds behind the project are Bobbie Johnson and Jim Giles, two reporters with a fair amount of ink spilled on issues involved with science and technology. They see MATTER this way:
We’ve developed a way to support independent, global, in-depth reporting about science and technology, two subjects that are close to our hearts. We’re going to use it to build MATTER, the new home for the best journalism about the future. And we need you to help us make it happen.
The donations are intended to commission the first few pieces (the early success of the fundraising drive means that supporters will get more back in terms of stories and collections published by MATTER). The plan is to have one long-form piece published each week for a variety of online viewing platforms. The model for MATTER is subscription-based, with an eye toward 99 cents per story. The editorial board – populated primarily by donors to the Kickstarter campaign – will conduct its business via online collaboration space.
The Kickstarter page has some information, but if you’re still not sure, check them out on Twitter. As with Mr. Brinkman, I put my money where my mouth is. There are no guarantees with this effort. Even if it becomes sustainable, there’s always the challenge of properly managing the sensationalism that frequently drowns out much of the stories of science and technology (or in any kind of journalism). But I don’t see anyone else making a go of this. It would be lovely to have the problem of being too sensationalist in science and technology reporting.