Summary:

Few start-ups with an initial $10,000 in funding even get noticed, let alone draw the intense attention being paid Jay Rosen’s NewAssignment…

Few start-ups with an initial $10,000 in funding even get noticed, let alone draw the intense attention being paid Jay Rosen’s NewAssignment.net. Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University, has found a way to mesh his interests in blogging, online journalism and user journalism — and a first backer in Craig Newmark, who staked the new enterprise to a $10,000 starter grant. So what is NewAssignment.net? Here’s the quick answer from Rosen: “Enterprise reporting goes pro-am. Assignments are open sourced. They begin online. Reporters working with smart users and blogging editors get the story the pack wouldn’t, couldn’t or didn’t. They raise the money too.” The more detailed official explanation is here. The idea of raising funds from the community to cover the community isn’t. As David Berlind points out, NPR has been doing it for years. But those funds go to professional journalists (although I’m aware of some public radio projects that involved giving non-journalists the tools to do their own reporting). Rosen also sees a difference in the fundraising method — funds will be solicited for specific projects. As Rosen explained in a podcast with Berlind,

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