The crowd-funded news platform aims to combat fake news by combining professional journalism with volunteer fact checking
The co-founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia Jimmy Wales is launching a new online application aimed at reshaping the news media called WikiTribune.
“The news is broken and we can fix it,” WikiTribune says on its website, after Mr. Wales announced the plan late on Monday focused on “evidence-based journalism”.
Jimmy Wales said the new platform would be free of pay-walls, carry no advertising, and instead will solely rely on its supporters to fund it. Wikipedia founder encouraged website followers and supporters to donate about $10 a month, but the amount and frequency of gifts can be modified.
If the fundraising campaign goes well, Wales hopes to be able to hire the site’s first journalists as soon as possible, it may be before 8 June when Britons vote in the upcoming general election.
He argued accuracy on articles would also be easily verifiable because source material will be made public. The page news said unveiled that the platform will go live in 29 days.
“The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it,” Mr Wales said in a promotional video posted on the website’s homepage. Although the site is launching at the beginning of the UK general election campaign, Wales said the impetus for the project came from the US.
Describing Wikitribune as Wales said: “This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts.”
Charlie Beckett, media professor at the London School of Economics, welcomed Wikitribune as an attempt to tackle a lack of public trust in mainstream media, but questioned whether it would have the scale and reach to stem the flow of fake news.
“The kind of people who will pay attention to Wikitribune and contribute to it are people who are already pretty media-literate,” he added.