Category Archives: Civil

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Joseph Lubin: Blockchain Good for Journalists

Joseph Lubin_ Blockchain Good for Journalists

Journalists and content creators can take advantage of decentralization and blockchain technology, according to Joseph Lubin, creator of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum. Lubin discussed various industries that are taking advantage of blockchain technology in a video released this week.

Lubin said that blockchain would allow artists to get rid of middlemen while attaching stipulations and policies to content to make sure that it is shared and consumed according to the artist’s choice.

It is claimed that in the music industry, big record companies secure around 70% of the total profit, giving only 11-12% to the artist. A smart contract on Ethereum platform can replace those record companies, maintained Lubin.

However, he admitted that there will still be intermediaries, required for tasks such as promotion. Nevertheless, they will be unable to “get to a commanding position” and blockchain will not allow them to extract enormous profits.

He urged the “gutted” journalism industry to deliver content directly to the consumer by using blockchain platforms such as Civil.

In that way, the industry can “return ethics to journalism” as well. Newsrooms can form a code of ethics by using blockchain platform, he suggested. Later, that security bond can be staked on the platform. In case anyone breaches the code of conduct, their listenership or readership can challenge their stake and have them removed from the platform.


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Report Claims Blockchain in Publishing is Crypto Crash Proof

Report: Blockchain in Publishing Will Survive Any Crypto Market Crash

A new report investigating blockchain’s role in the publishing industry claims the technology will continue to be utilized regardless of the cryptocurrency market’s performance.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, WAN-IFRA, in collaboration with the University of Arcada in Finland released the report today, in it detailing a number of benefits the publishing industry can enjoy by integrating blockchain technology.

The authors of ‘Blockchain and the Future of News‘ note that similar research to their own is often reluctant to focus on, or mention by name, blockchain because of both its complexity which makes it seem inaccessible and its “bad image” from being linked to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Despite the latter being arguably underserved, the paper reasons that “Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies are reminiscent of the Wild West, with overnight millionaires and burst bubbles galore”.

In the publishing industry which looks to preserve trust above all, it is perhaps understandable to want to avoid association with this unstable image. But blockchain has matured beyond this conception, as the report goes on to acknowledge.

Referencing Bitcoin’s poor market performance this year and analysts’ claims it will go on to lose further value, the report adds that “Blockchain’s usefulness for publishing will survive any such collapse”.

Mentioning blockchain’s compatibility with securing intellectual property, enforcing licensing rights, and collecting micropayments from content viewers through a tokenized ecosystem, WAN-IFRA shares a view that the publishing industry can have as much to gain as its consumers, who benefit from increased trust in content and reduced advertising. Once content is published on the blockchain it cannot be modified or removed, acting as a way to circumvent government or corporate censorship and interference.

Blockchain allows content providers to move away from the traditional advertising model through the token route of micropayments, increasing their trustworthiness by making them beholden to the average content consumer rather than advertisers. Readers or viewers also have the potential to earn credit by sharing constructive feedback, fact-checking, or viewing ad content.

Civil is one such news organization that operates based on these benefits of blockchain, “prioritizing ethical journalism” above all else using the technology to create an enhanced model of transparency.

WAN-IFRA offers a breakdown of the report on its website, while its members can access it in full for free and non-members are obliged to pay EUR 150.


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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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