Category Archives: Civil

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Columbia University Examines Future of DLT in Journalism

New York’s prestigious Columbia University has been examining blockchain and its impact on the world of journalism.

In the most recent edition of the University’s Columbia Journalism Review, a report on the events of its most recent panel discussion entitled ‘Blockchain in Journalism: Promise and Practice’ outlined its findings.

The panel was held at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, part of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Tow Center explores the ways in which technology is changing journalism, its practice and its consumption – particularly as consumers of news seek ways to judge the reliability, standards and credibility of information.

The 19 October panel included important players in both blockchain and journalism including Civil Foundation CEO Vivian Schiller and ZigZag podcast’s Manoush Zomorodi. Also attending were Columbia researcher Eran Tromer, Forbes head of Product & Tech Salah Zalatimo, New York Times researcher Nellie Bowles CEO Jarrod Dicker.

The panel agreed that central to blockchain’s success in the field of journalism were three areas offering the greatest challenge, with the greatest being to differentiate between cryptocurrency and DLT. The former still offered resistance in the eyes of the general public due to a general lack of knowledge. The stigma of crypto is still there to be overcome, including public fears of volatility and its past connections with criminal activity.

In the same way as cryptocurrency, blockchain suffers from the same dearth of available information to the public regarding its workings and numerous applications across sectors including journalism, despite already making impact in that area. However, flawed designs were identified by the panel, such as “Nieman Lab’s John Keefe calculating that it takes 44 steps to purchase CVL, the token that powers Civil”.

The panelists felt these factors were enough to cast a degree of muted optimism over journalism’s future unless they were addressed as the industry moved forward with further blockchain solutions.

Civil recently announced that it was casting its eye on the Asian news market and, as a result, the company has raised USD 1 million to create 100 media projects there over the next three years. In order to facilitate its ambitious plans in Asia, the company has teamed with Splice, a Singapore-based media startup, which will manage the new fund.


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AP Collaborates with Blockchain Journalist Firm for Improved Ethics

The US-based not-for-profit news agency the Associated Press (AP) announced on Tuesday that it would join blockchain-based journalism startup Civil in a content licensing partnership.

The collaboration will allow Civil to access all of AP’s national and international content for use in Civil’s related newsrooms, receiving a direct license for use by AP. In exchange, AP will receive CVL tokens which will be reportedly be used to promote objectivity and accuracy in its work through supporting Civil’s internal economy.

Civil’s technology allows traditional journalism models to be improved by providing authorship and ownership rights, smart contract licensing terms and incentives for ethical behavior. The AP stated that it does not have any interest in changing the ethical standards promoted by Civil but rather, they plan to change how they are enforced by colleagues in journalism.

AP cites a particular interest in how blockchain can be used to improve journalism models as the primary reason for the partnership, alongside this improving ethics and transparency standards. The news organization will pursue additional blockchain uses in tracking content movement and mentions, consumption trends and securing intellectual property.

Jim Kennedy, AP’s senior vice president for Strategy and Enterprise Development, commended his publication’s commitment to effectively progressing journalism into the digital age. Kennedy wrote in the official announcement, ”We’re eager to help cultivate the space and demonstrate our value to a new set of digital publishers.”

According to AP, Civil is just the first significant media partnership to be announced in its pursuit of a ”new economy for journalism” where quality is the primary incentive, with organizations including the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the European Journalism Centre and the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism soon joining them.

Bitcoin News covered the establishment of Civil in June this year as the result of veteran journalists in Colorado turning to blockchain to move away from corporate pressure and reliance on advertising, creating a reader-supported journalism model.


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