Community-Powered Newsrooms Have Room for Everyone, Even Journalists

John S. Knight in newsroomI read an interesting headline the other day.

A community of news: ProPublica expands crowdsourcing, exchanging expertise with other newsrooms

Many words have been written about the demise of journalism, but the first sentence of this story should allay those fears.

Over the next year, with the support of Knight Foundation, we will be working to improve how we engage communities to help us create journalism that spurs change.

I recommend you read the whole piece, but the TLDR version can be summed up by the last two paragraphs.

We’re starting today with the creation of the Crowd-Powered News Network, a forum for journalists and others proactively engaging communities in storytelling to share ideas, practical support and best practices.

Are you creating journalism — whether online, in broadcast or in film — in partnership with your community? Sign up now to join the Community Journalism Network.

So I clicked the links. They both went to the same place: a survey for Crowd-Powered News Network [CPNN].

I filled out the survey, then hit submit. I am excited to see what happens next.

We, at Evrybit, believe collaborative journalism is the future of media. We have believed that since before I was a 2014 Knight Fellow at Stanford.

In April 2014, Evrybit was part of an application for a Knight News Challenge. Our idea was called Rejigsaw and was about reshaping community journalism and providing “front-door access to the truth” for all Americans. We have found that citizens neglected by traditional media often possess a strong desire to report on the overlooked aspects of their lives. We want to provide people with a platform and the skills (know-how) to communicate their story.

In November 2014, Evrybit submitted an application  for a 2015 Knight Cities Challenge for San Jose and Long Beach as part of a five-person team with Gregorio Rojas and Liliana Monge (Sabio), Martin Reynolds (Voices), Yvette Cabrera (Voice of Orange County, CCNMA). Our project was called SHINE: Storyteller Hacker Interactive Network. It was about creating hybrid community-powered newsrooms composed of journalists and technologists.

This is what we wanted to learn.

  • How to build a mobile-first, community-powered network of journalists and technologists
  • How to empower community members to be civic watchdogs and digital innovators
  • Best practices for crowdsourcing news production and technology development
  • How to get local media organizations to view community members as collaborators and embrace community-generated content and use community-developed products

We have learned more about community-powered networks. We continue to make progress.

Over the past 18 months, we at Evrybit have been working on developing a new profit model for media built on mobile crowdsourced news production and monetization.

We want to continue to test and prove the model. We have more work to do. We have more to learn.

But seeing ProPublica get funded by the Knight Foundation to create a crowd-powered news network is good news for journalism. It validates Evrybit and our mission: to connect the world through storytelling.

We are building a platform to empower crowd-powered news networks. We are just getting started. Think Amazon for mobile storytelling (a one-stop shop where everything you need is in a single place). We look forward to continuing our work with everyone who believes mobile community-powered news networks represent the future of media like we do.

To learn more about Evrybit, download our app and tell a story. If you want to learn how to monetize community-powered newsrooms, collaborate on a crowdsourcing project or just shoot the breeze about the future of media, contact me, Eric Ortiz, the founder and CEO of for Evrybit. I can be reached at 860-751-9771 or eric@getevrybit.com.

Then, be on the lookout for Version 2.0 of our iOS app, our Android version and a crowdfunding campaign.

Big things are on the horizon for Evrybit. The same is true for journalism.

The Evrybit app is available in the Apple App Store. Download now.

Photo: Knight Foundation/Flickr

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