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New media venture to experiment with crowdsourcing, other models


Former Ten News reporter Rakhal Ebeli is taking a stab at fixing news media’s never-ending financial woes.

He has launched Newsmodo, a global platform from which media companies can tap journalists on-demand and on which freelancers can build business. Newsmodo’s platform will also use crowdsourced models for coverage.

“As you would be aware, the media landscape has shifted and continues to at great speed. Larger organisations have scaled back their operations but remain under increasing pressure to keep improving their coverage of news around the world,” said Ebeli, who has studied journalism in the U.S. and worked in the U.K.

Early enthusiasm

Newsmodo’s “new ecosystem” has already attracted hundreds of freelance journalists from the world. Its platform enables these service providers to ‘create portfolios, engage with media, monetize their work and respond to real, paying news gathering assignments,” Ebeli said.

The platform could help media companies pick a journalist in any part of the world for an assignment without the cost of sending one out there. For example, an Australian magazine seeking special coverage of the inauguration of a new Pope in The Vatican could, presumably, use Newsmodo’s network to find a duly qualified journalist for the job.

“In recent weeks, we have trialled the platform with a small group of about 100 contributors and media buyers from Australia and overseas,” he said. “Even with a small sample size (less than 5%) of our total number of freelancers already signed up, we were able to provide high-quality news content to publications.”

Newsmodo might be similar to freelance jobs sites such as elance, freelancer.com or ODesk.

“At its core, contributors must ‘accept’ an assignment, and then be ‘approved’ by the media organisation who set it before undertaking the work involved,” said Ebeli. “This distinguishes Newsmodo from other ‘crowdsourcing’ models out there and we think makes us a very attractive proposition to those who will use the site in time to come.”

Newsmodo is free for contributors to sign up and use.