Kickstarter helps journalists fund reporting projects

By BOLTON LANCASTER

One of the problems that people run into when they are trying to work on a creative project is that they often do not have the necessary funding to start. The website Kickstarter helps with this problem by allowing people to directly fund projects that they think are important or that they support.

The crowd funding website has 13 different categories of creative projects: art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film and video, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology and theater. The film and video and music categories have the most projects on the site.

The projects on Kickstarter are listed with a goal of how much money each creator hopes to raise as well as a deadline for which to raise the money. If the goal is not reached by the deadline, then none of the money goes to the person who put up the project listing and the people who offered to help fund the project are not charged any donation money on their credit cards. This encourages people to donate knowing that they will only contribute if the project is actually created.

People who are looking to fund projects on the site are only allowed to “back” projects, not “invest” in them. That is, people cannot pour money into a project hoping to make money off of it. Project creators are allowed to promise funders a tangible reward (such as a first edition of a novel) or a one-of-a-kind experience (such as lunch with the author).

Kickstarter comes in useful for journalists primarily in the film and video and publishing categories. For example, in the publishing category, one of the projects that is currently looking to be funded is a bi-monthly humor magazine. In the film and video section, a documentary focusing on nature and the evolution of childhood is hoping to be funded.

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