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In what has to be the most money plonked down in a citizen journalism venture, Softbank is investing $11 million in the Korean cit-journalism site OhMyNews.
Softbank will directly invest W5.2 billion into the Korean company, becoming the second largest shareholder with a 12.95 percent stake. The rest will be spent on establishing OhmyNews International next month, for which the Korean site will bear 70 percent of the cost and the Japanese partner the other 30 percent.
OMN will establish a Japanese website modeled on the Korean concept by August.
TMCNet: The Japanese venture will enlist locally about 40,000 people, about the same as the number working for the South Korean paper, to contribute stories to the Japanese edition of the online newspaper OhmyNews as registered writers.
Release: Softbank will invest $5.2million directly to OhmyNews (rest will be for the Japanese joint venture). “OhmyNews will spend the invested funds on the expansion of OhmyTV, an Internet TV arm of OhmyNews, to advance citizen participation in the video journalism and the development of OhmyNews’ English language edition, pushing citizen participatory journalism to the next level.”