The debate on funding journalism heated up again this week, after a local arts group named ArtsGreensboro gave $15,000 to the News & Record in Greensboro, NC in exchange for underwriting expanded arts coverage. Numerous news critics raised the alarm when word of this agreement got out, even triggering a response from the publication’s former editor John Robinson, who questioned whether it wasn’t “Pay for Play.” But this discussion always produces the next natural question: what’s the better alternative? As veteran journalist and media thinker Steve Buttry wrote while sharing Robinson’s post, “You have to protect the integrity of the coverage, but, as John noted, questions will linger. I'd be more comfortable with a community-based crowdfunding, where ArtsGreensboro would be one of many funders, with a ceiling on how much any one source could contribute.” So is crowdfunding where journalism’s greatest hope lies?
Be ye of good cheer, because Steve Buttry himself will be joining us this Tuesday to help approach this question and others. Buttry is the Lamar Visiting Scholar at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. A teacher and practitioner of journalism for more than 40 years, Buttry was most recently the Digital Transformation Editor for Digital First Media and was named “Editor of the Year” in 2010 by Editor & Publisher Magazine for his work as editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. He has been an editor, reporter and writing coach for six other U.S. newspapers and was Director of Community Engagement for TBD.com. He also worked at the American Press Institute for three years and was a key contributor in the teaching, promotion and research for the Newspaper Next project. All great reasons to look forward to a tweetchat on crowdfunding under his tutelage, this upcoming Tuesday, July 22. If you have any questions you’d like to see incorporated into our chat, please email or tweet them to me by Monday, then join us on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST!