The Civil Foundation
Photo: Courtesy of Civil
With the rise of social platforms and their rapid monopolization of media, news as a whole is at a bit of an impasse
While there is no shortage of ethical, integral media companies out there, society’s constant media consumption and shrinking attention span definitely don’t make it easy for them to thrive. And as the past disastrous election cycle exemplified, the pieces that get amplified online aren’t always the most authentic, ethical, or even correct ones.
So whose articles do we decide to read? How can we combat a system that doesn’t always reward the right voices? It’s definitely a daunting problem to ponder. But Civil and the Civil Foundation’s system encourages trustworthy journalism around the world.
The Civil Foundation believes that a free press is essential to a fair and just society, and is worthy of being supported by the public it serves. Using technology solutions, they advocate for transparent journalism standards as well as reciprocity between “publishers and their public.” Created in support of Civil, a community-owned network that encourages and shares ethical journalism, the foundation is helmed by well-known names in news, who have worked everywhere from DNAinfo to The New York Times.
A more ethical, transparent journalism industry can’t be created without a new set of standards — which is why the Foundation created the Civil Constitution. Before platforms become part of the Civil Registry, they must promise to respect the constitution’s rules, which require accuracy, accountability and respect for ethical journalism. And, to ensure absolute transparency, they operate in tandem with blockchain technology.
According to the Civil Constitution, foundation members’ content must be archived to the blockchain so that it can be viewed and held to standard by the public.
Plenty of publications have already joined as a part of the registry, including the Gotham Gazette and The Colorado Sun — and many more are in the application stage.
“It’s a really exciting time at Civil,” explained the Foundation’s CEO Vivian Schiller. “Now that the network is up and running, our main focus in the Foundation is to grow and support the community of newsrooms.”
The Foundation is still in its infancy, but it is eager to foster ethical and meaningful dialogue among writers and reporters so they can deliver the most accurate information to the masses.
“We at the Civil Foundation really want to be conveners and collaborators in the global conversation around issues like sustainability, trust and technology in journalism,” said Schiller.
More about the Civil Foundation can be found on their website.