The Representative Journalism Project founded in Northfield, Minn. could see more nationwide support after project collaborators Bonnie Obremski and Bill Densmore facilitated a discussion about the initiative last week at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. The noontime “Lunchstorm” session was a part of a three-day conference centered around another experimental project called Information Valet, which Densmore is working on at the university.
The video below is an edited version of the hour-long talk during which media professionals from around the nation and students from the university’s top-ranked journalism school grilled Obremski and Densmore about RepJ’s progress and future plans.
One of the only unanswered questions was how the RepJ project would gain financial support from community members who are willing to invest in the next generation of community journalism. However, the founders of the Banyan Project and Kachingle.com made some interesting suggestions.
Tom Stites of the Banyan Project suggested a co-op style funding method, or to simply “put out the tip jar” to see what would happen. Kachingle, founder Cynthia Typaldos explained, would be a way for Web site owners everywhere to easily solicit funds from fans. In essence, “Kachinglers” sign up to donate $5 per month toward the sites they would like to support most. To distribute some of the $5 to a site, the Kachingler pushes the Kachingle button installed on the site. Typaldos would like to launch Kachingle in January.
In the video, the questions asked appear in type at the bottom of the screen while Obremski and Densmore answer them.